YEREVAN. – Politics on both sides is behind the diplomatic row between Netherlands and Turkey that has escalated over the weekend, Dutch political scientist Nick Ottens believes.
“It doesn't hurt Erdogan to be seen standing up for Turks abroad and it doesn't hurt the ruling parties in the Netherlands to be seen standing up to Turkish bullying,” Ottens in response to a written inquiry by Armenian News-NEWS.am.
The Dutch authorities barred a plane carrying Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu who planned to attend a rally in Rotterdam to inform Turkish citizens about constitutional amendments.
Ottens, political analyst and editor of the Atlantic Sentinel website, believes that the Dutch genuinely tried to find a compromise, for example, having the foreign minister speak at a small event in the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
“Only when the Turkish government threatened sanctions if their ministers were not allowed to appear did the Dutch end talks,” he emphasized.
The expert explained that the officials in Rotterdam were concerned that a pro-Erdogan rally could lead to riots, and added there had been small riots in Rotterdam as well as Amsterdam in the last couple of days.
Following deterioration of Dutch-Turkish relations, Denmark’s Prime Minister canceled the visit of his Turkish counterpart. Earlier Germany also canceled the campaign meeting of the Turkish ministers, a move that caused tension between Ankara and Berlin.
Asked how the recent scandal might affect future relations between Turkey and the EU on the whole, the analyst replied: “Turkey and the EU still need each other in many ways, but Europeans are losing sympathy for Turkey. The relationship might become more transactional.”