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Turkey-Netherlands row: Dutch ambassador withdrawn

Turkey-Netherlands row: Dutch ambassador withdrawn
From BBC - February 5, 2018

The Netherlands has formally withdrawn its ambassador to Turkey and said no new Turkish ambassador will be accepted in The Hague.

The decision marks the deepening of a row that began when the Dutch barred Turkish ministers from campaigning among the Turkish diaspora in 2017.

The Dutch diplomat has not been allowed to enter Turkey since March.

The Netherlands foreign ministry also said that it had "paused" talks on resolving matters with Turkey.

"We have not agreed on how to normalise ties," Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlsra said in a statement.

The two Nato allies originally fell out over the Netherlands' decision to block the entry of Turkish officials who wanted to hold rallies ahead of a referendum in Turkey on expanding the president's powers.

One minister arrived by car from Germany to attend a rally in Rotterdam in defiance of the ban, but police escorted her out of the country. Riot police were then deployed in the city to break up angry demonstrations by Dutch-Turkish citizens.

At the time, Dutch voters were set to go to the polls for a general election and Prime Minister Mark Rutte cited security concerns ahead of the vote to justify the decision.

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