Newly appointed Dutch envoy hopes to play positive role in Turkish-Netherlands ties

By On September 25, 2018

Newly appointed Dutch envoy hopes to play positive role in Turkish-Netherlands ties

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Newly appointed Dutch envoy hopes to play positive role in Turkish-Netherlands ties DAILY SABAH ANKARA Published

Following a decision to normalize relations between Turkey and the Netherlands, the newly appointed Dutch ambassador to Turkey Marjanne de Kwaasteniet expressed willingness to contribute to the improvement of ties between the two countries on Monday.

The Dutch envoy arrived in Ankara on Monday and upon her arrival said to reporters that she was happy to be in Turkey.

"I am happy to be here (in Turkey), this is an important moment. I hope to have a good time here and play a positive role in Turkey-Netherlands relations," Kwaasteniet said.

Kwaasteniet, who served as the former Netherlands Permanent Representative to NATO, will be inaugurated after presenting her letter of credentials to President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan.

The relations between Turkey and the Netherlands sharply deteriorated after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was barred from entering the country and former Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, who had arrived from Germany, was barred from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam and deported after a brawl with Dutch police.

The in cident occurred shortly before the Dutch general elections on March 15, 2017, and the Turkish constitutional reform and presidential system referendum on April 16, 2017.

Furthermore, citing rising far-right sentiment in the country, the Dutch government said that Turkish officials would not be allowed to hold campaign rallies for the Turkish community in the country, while several other European countries specifically barred the "yes" camp backed by President ErdoÄŸan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) from holding campaign rallies on their territory.

Turkey withdrew its ambassador to The Hague after the incident, while Dutch Ambassador Cornelis Van Rij, who was recalled to the Netherlands for consultations after Ankara asked him not to return for awhile, was not allowed back into Turkey. The Dutch Foreign Ministry finally withdrew the envoy in February.

On July 20, Turkey and the Netherlands decided to normalize bilateral relations and have restored full formal diplomatic ties.

The decision to normalize the relations was taken after foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July. Highlighting the need to leave behind the regretful events that damaged long-standing relations, Çavuşoğlu stressed that Blok conveyed a letter to him avowing eagerness to normalize relations.

Çavuşoğlu also added: "In this context, we agreed to make a joint statement as a first step. We also agreed to bilaterally reinstate our ambassadors shortly."

Accordingly, an ex-deputy from the AK Party, Åžaban DiÅŸli, was appointed as Turkey's ambassador to The Hague in early September.

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