Today (Monday) the European Union called upon Turkey to “refrain from excessive statements” in the diplomatic crisis. This has arisen from the refusal of the Netherlands to authorise Turkish ministers to participate in pro-Erdogan rallies. A statement has been made by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, co-signed by the commissioner Johannes Hahn. He is responsible for the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.
In this, the EU urged Ankara “to refrain from making excessive statements in the process, which risk exacerbating the situation still further.”
Mrs Mogherini and Mr Hahn added, “The issues of concern can only be resolved by open and direct channels of communication,” They gave assurances that they “will continue to provide mediation in the interests of EU-Turkey relations.”
They further urged, “It is vital to avoid a greater escalation of violence and to find the means to calm the situation.”
As regards the heart of the diplomatic crisis, they referred to the spheres of expertise of the various member states.
In their joint declaration, Mogherini and Hahn stated, “Decisions relating to holding meetings and gatherings in member states is a matter for the member state concerned. However, regard should be had for compliance with international and national legal provisions at all times.”
Turkey is criticising the Netherlands for having refused Turkish ministers the right to participate in support rallies for Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This occurred during the depths of the referendum campaign to strengthen his presidential powers.
Since Saturday Turkish leaders have held their own, sharply criticising the Dutch authorities. Mr Erdogan promised on Sunday to “make them pay a heavy price” for treatment which he felt was reminiscent of “Nazism and fascism” – given to two Turkish ministers.
The presence of Turkish politicians at such gatherings has given rise, in recent weeks, to heated exchanges between Ankara and several European capitals.