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Government statement on the denial of Turkish landing rights

The Dutch government has decided to deny the Dutch landing rights for the aircraft of Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. After a public call to Dutch nationals of Turkish origin to turn out in great numbers for a public gathering with Mr Çavuşoğlu in Rotterdam on Saturday 11 March, the government has concluded, public order and safety are at risk.

The Netherlands was conducting discussions with the Turkish authorities about the minister’s visit and seeking a mutually acceptable resolution to the problems surrounding it. Consultations were under way about the possibility of the Turkish authorities’ moving the meeting to a Turkish consulate or embassy, closing it to the public and organising it on a smaller scale. Before these talks had been concluded, however, the Turkish authorities publicly threatened the Netherlands with sanctions. The Turkish threat made the quest for a reasonable compromise impossible, and led to the Dutch decision to deny landing rights.

The Netherlands regrets this turn of events, and continues to favour consultations with Turkey. The two countries have a friendly relationship. An acceptable solution was being sought within the framework of Dutch-Turkish friendship.

Many Dutch nationals of Turkish origin have the right to vote in the referendum on the Turkish constitution. The Dutch government has no objection to meetings in our country aimed at informing these people about the issues. However, these meetings may not exacerbate the tensions that exist in our society, and everyone who seeks to organise a meeting should comply with the directives of the competent authorities in the interests of safeguarding public order and safety. The conclusion is clear that in this case the Turkish government has been unwilling to respect the rules.