Turkey Condemns EU Officials Over Netherlands Campaigning

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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.

The referendum would controversially boost the Turkish president’s powers.

In response to the Dutch move, Turkey barred the Dutch ambassador from returning to Ankara and suspended high-level political talks, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip 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.

Voters in the Netherlands go to the polls on Wednesday for a general election dominated by concerns about immigration and Islamic radicalism.

Relations between the EU and Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country regarded as crucial to tackling Europe’s migrant crisis, have long been strained.

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”.

Source: BBC

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