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Turkish sanctions only apply to Dutch leadership – Ankara’s Minister for EU Affairs

March 16, 2017, 12:05 UTC+3

Individuals who are not linked to the government agencies will not be affected by the sanctions

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ANKARA, March 16. /TASS/. Turkey's Minister of European Union Affairs, Omer Celik, has said that individuals who are not linked to the Netherlands’ government agencies will not be affected by the sanctions imposed by Ankara.

"The Turkish and Dutch peoples have long-standing friendly ties and very close cooperation in business. However, the Dutch government is responsible for the wrong things that have happened. That is why the sanctions that have been imposed and possible future sanctions concern only the country’s leadership," he told TASS on Thursday.

The minister recalled that Ankara is not allowing planes carrying Dutch diplomats, but civilian and tourist fights have not been affected.

"Our two countries have major business ties and investment, and we certainly leave this sphere outside the scope of sanctions. The economic sanctions (which Turkey may impose in the future - TASS) concern only interstate relations," Celik said. In his view, "If the Netherlands’ actions become a widespread behavior model, the world will lose everything it has been able to acquire to date."

"Countries will just stop communicating with each other. So, the Netherlands’ actions are, in a way, the use of the model and ideas of the period prior to World War II. I do not think any other country will do the same and choose this behavior style. No serious country, which has respect for democracy, rights, a long history and prudence, will not behave that way," the minister noted.

The diplomatic uproar between Turkey and the Netherlands erupted against the backdrop of a decision by the Dutch authorities citing security reasons to prohibit Turkish politicians’ speeches in the kingdom in support of constitutional reform in Turkey. In light of this decision, on March 11, the Netherlands refused to allow the aircraft of Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to land and deported Turkish Family Affairs Minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, who arrived in Rotterdam. In response, Turkey said it does not want the Dutch ambassador to return to Ankara from vacation, decided not to receive diplomatic flights from the Netherlands and suspend all high-level contacts with that country until The Hague apologizes for these incidents.

Concerning the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, the Turkish minister said that there were no significant differences between the participants in the race. "A Turkish newspaper had an excellent headline in connection with the elections: ‘Competition Between Two Good-for-Nothings’. There is Geert Wilders, a racist, an anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic political leader and a Europhob. And Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte embarked on the same Xenophobic path to compete with him," he noted.

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