Turkey opposition leader calls on govt to suspend relations with Netherlands

Republican People's Party Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has called on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to suspend relations with the Netherlands following an escalating diplomatic row over the country’s refusal to permit a Turkish minister to enter the consulate in Rotterdam, showcasing support for the government on the issue.

“I am issuing a clear call to the government. If they [the Netherlands] do not allow Turkey’s minister to enter the Netherlands or our own embassy, please suspend our relationship with the Netherlands. We will lend any support,” Kilicdaroglu told a rally in the southern province of Adana.

The CHP leader also said it was a common duty for all political parties to defend the country’s interests in the face of such incidents.

“This issue has nothing to do with the [16 April constitutional] referendum, and ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes. This is a national issue. It is every political party’s duty, regardless of whether you are a rightist or leftist, to defend Turkey’s rights. We are ready to fulfil our duty,” Kilicdaroglu said.

The main opposition party had already announced that it was cancelling its overseas meetings for the 16 April referendum due to the cancelation of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit to Rotterdam, which was followed by the Dutch refusal to permit Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya’s entrance to the consulate building in the port city.