Government statement concerning Turkish minister Kaya’s escorted departure

The Netherlands has today repeatedly made clear in its contacts with Turkey that public order and safety may not be put at risk in our country. Once consultations about a small-scale meeting closed to the general public in a Turkish consulate or embassy had been made impossible by Turkey’s public threat of sanctions, the Netherlands denied Saturday morning the Dutch landing rights for the aircraft of Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The quest for a reasonable compromise had proved to be impossible. The subsequent verbal aggression on the part of the Turkish authorities is unacceptable.

In this situation, the visit to Rotterdam by Turkish family and social policy minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was irresponsible. This message was once more conveyed to the Turkish authorities, who were given to understand that Ms Kaya was not welcome in the Netherlands. The Netherlands will not cooperate with efforts by Turkish ministers to publicly conduct a political campaign in this country. Despite this clear message, Ms Kaya nevertheless decided to travel to the Netherlands.

On her arrival in Rotterdam, Ms Kaya was offered the choice of leaving the Netherlands by any means that would suit her. When she was at the Turkish consulate, she was again repeatedly asked to leave the country. Both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and foreign minister Bert Koenders made telephone calls to their Turkish counterparts. As a result of these consultations, Ms Kaya was escorted out of the Netherlands over the German border.

The Netherlands continues to favour discussions with Turkey. The government is in continuing contact with the Dutch local authorities.