Dutch-Turkish groups criticise ban on foreign politicians campaigning without prior permission
Dutch-Turkish groups criticised a new ban on foreign politicians campaigning in The Netherlands without prior permission, BBC Turk reported on Sunday.
The ban was aimed at preventing a repeat of the March 2017 diplomatic row between The Netherlands and Turkey. Dutch authorities refused to allow Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from landing and expelled then Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya after both attempted to speak at a rally in favour of the constitutional referendum in Turkey that would change it to a presidential system from a parliamentary one.
Turkey expelled the Dutch ambassador as a result and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced The Netherlands as "fascists".
This ban announced by Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok made it that foreign politicians would be unable to campaign in the country three months before national elections. According to the Blok, the ban applies to ministers, lawmakers, mayors and senior bureaucrats.
The Advisory Board for Turks (IOT), a Netherlands-based group for the community, criticised the decision.
"This is an unfortunate decision that makes the material of choice against the Turkish community in the Netherlands," its head told BBC Turk.
This decision by Dutch authorities follows the leak of an intelligence document that expressed concern over attempts by Turkey to exert influence over Dutch-Turks in the country. Intelligence officials told Dutch media that the report was not a completed intelligence document and did not completely endorse its conclusions.