03:43 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the ceremony of signing documents after the sixth meeting of the Russia-Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council

    Erdogan: Dutch PM Lost Turkish Friendship Amid Ministers' Address Ban

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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte lost a friend like Turkey after the Dutch authorities refused landing for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was expected to meet with Turkish expats in the Netherlands.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had lost Turkey's friendship, which comes against the backdrop of the Netherlands banning Turkish ministers from addressing expats regarding a vote on Turkish constitutional changes boosting the president's power.

    "O Rutte, you might have finished the elections as the first party, but you should know that you lost a friend like Turkey," Erdogan said, as quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News media outlet.

    Rutte's center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) came first in Wednesday’s general elections. securing 33 out of 150 seats in the parliament.

    The relations between the Netherlands and Turkey deteriorated on March 11, when the Dutch authorities refused landing for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was expected to meet with Turkish expats in the Netherlands in the run up to Turkey's mid-April constitutional referendum on bolstering the president's powers. They also denied Turkish Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya entry into the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

    Ankara reacted furiously, promising reciprocal actions and sanctions against the Netherlands, while Erdogan compared the Dutch authorities' behavior to Nazism. On Monday, Turkey officially suspended high-level political contacts with the Netherlands, barred the Dutch ambassador from returning to Turkey, put all high-level political discussions with the Netherlands on hold and stopped all Dutch diplomatic flights bound for Turkey.


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