Break between The Hague and Ankara

The Hague has now officially withdrawn its ambassador to Ankara. The latter had not been back to Turkey since the Turkish family minister was refused permission to campaign for the Turkish constitutional referendum in Rotterdam last year. Commentators are appalled at the breakdown in relations - and some suspect the Dutch government of having ulterior motives for the move.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

Just domestic policy tactics?

De Volkskrant is surprised by this open severance of diplomatic ties between the Netherlands and Turkey:

“This is new, particularly since people were saying in Ankara and various European capitals recently that work was being done to improve relations. ... Now the question arises: just what is the West's stance on Turkey? Is there any overarching policy, or is everyone simply muddling along on their own? ... Now the Netherlands is sending a strong signal - but to whom? To Turkey? Or to domestic critics of Foreign Minister Zijlstra, who reacted so sympathetically to the attack in Afrin?”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

A storm that clears the air?

NRC hopes relations between The Hague and Ankara can now be normalised:

“Turkey's calm reaction to the Dutch resolution is cause for hope. There's no need for third-party mediation, because this is about bilateral relations. The Netherlands and Turkey must resolve this issue on their own. ... Nevertheless it's bizarre for two members of the Nato Alliance not to be on normal diplomatic terms with each other. In negotiations it's not unusual for a break-up to precede a breakthrough. Hopefully that's also the case today.”