Turkey Slams EU Officials in Row over Netherlands Campaigning

تم نشره في Tue 14 March / Mar 2017. 01:00 AM
  • The Turkish referendum next month would expand Mr Erdogan's powers - (Getty Images)

The Turkish foreign ministry has rejected a call by top EU officials to show restraint in a row with the Netherlands over political campaigning.

It described as "worthless" an appeal by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

The row erupted after the Dutch barred Turkish ministers from campaigning among expatriates for a referendum.

It comes before one of the most closely fought Dutch elections in years.

The referendum would controversially boost the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In response to the Dutch move, Turkey barred the Dutch ambassador from returning to Ankara and suspended high-level political talks, while Mr Erdogan accused the Dutch of using Nazi tactics.

The Dutch government cited "risks to public order and security" as reasons for blocking the Turkish rallies.

Turkey's foreign ministry said it was "grave" of the EU to stand by the Netherlands.

On Monday, Ms Mogherini and Mr Hahn had called on Turkey to "refrain from excessive statements and actions that risk further exacerbating the situation".

However, responding to the diplomatic sanctions announced by Turkey, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said they were "not too bad".