Council of Europe calls for dialogue on row over Dutch ban on Turkish ministers
AFP photoThe Council of Europe has urged both Turkey and the Netherlands to engage in dialogue following the eruption of a diplomatic row between the two countries that escalated after Dutch authorities banned Turkish ministers from entering the country.
“The situation is now damaging to diplomacy and democracy. We cannot allow it to escalate any further,” Thorbjørn Jagland said in a statement on March 12.
“All Turkish citizens, inside and outside of the country, should have ample opportunity to be informed about the pros and cons of proposed constitutional amendments and to engage in an open, fair and inclusive discussion in the referendum campaign,” he added.
Jagland also stated that all sides should agree on constructive dialogue on campaign events, in this case Turkey’s April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments.
“Campaign events abroad require close cooperation between the Turkish authorities and their foreign counterparts. All sides involved should agree on the modalities of such events through constructive dialogue and with sufficient time to allow for necessary administrative preparations,” Jagland said.
“All public meetings and political campaigns held in Council of Europe member states should be conducted in accordance with national legislation and the European Convention on Human Rights,” he said.
On March 11, the Dutch government first canceled Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s flight permit to the Netherlands and then blocked a convoy carrying Family Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
Kaya was escorted by the Dutch police to Germany after she was declared persona non grata, while police subsequently intervened against Turks who gathered in front of the consulate building in Rotterdam.