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2017-03-15 Europe
Turkey spat briefs
Rotterdam mayor says police were ready to open fire on Turkish minister’s convoy

[IsraelTimes] The mayor of Rotterdam says that specialized armed security forces he sent to a standoff with a Turkish minister on Saturday night had permission to open fire if necessary.

Speaking late Monday night on a television talk show, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb says he sent the special armed intervention unit to the Turkish consulate amid fears that a 12-man security detail that had driven to the Netherlands from Germany with Turkish Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya could be armed.

Aboutaleb says on the Nieuwsuur show that it was important to “be sure that if it came to a confrontation that we would be the boss” and that the unit had been given “permission to shoot.”

The Turkish minister was eventually escorted out of the Netherlands in the early hours of Sunday. Earlier, the Dutch also had refused Turkey’s foreign minister permission to visit. Both ministers wanted to address rallies about next month’s constitutional reform referendum on giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte repeats Tuesday, on the last day of campaigning for Dutch elections that have been overshadowed by the diplomatic crisis, that Dutch authorities are working to de-escalate tensions with Ankara.

German state seeks to ban Turkish rallies

[IsraelTimes] The governor of a German state says that she wants to prevent Turkish government officials from holding political rallies there before Turkey’s constitutional referendum. The western state of Saarland says it would use “all opportunities” to prevent such rallies. Governor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer says in a statement that “Turkish domestic conflicts have no place in Germany. Campaign appearances that threaten the domestic peace in our country should be banned.”

The move would mirror a similar move by the Netherlands that has stoked tensions between Turkey and Western Europe.

So far, Germany’s federal government has said that it won’t impose a blanket ban on members of the Turkish government holding political rallies in the country.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, who faces a state election on March 26, is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union. It’s unclear whether Turkish officials had any plans to campaign in Saarland, a small state on the French border.

Dutch PM Rutte says Turkish sanctions "not too bad"

[Ynet] The Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday said that Turkish sanctions against the Dutch government in the wake of a diplomatic clash were "not too bad" but were inappropriate as the Dutch have more to be angry about.

The sanctions include freezing all diplomatic communication but no economic measures.

"On the other hand, I continue to find it bizarre that in Turkey they're talking about sanctions when you see that we have reasons to be very angy about what happened this weekend."

Germany and the Netherlands warn their tourists to be cautious in Turkey
Uninteresting verbal nonsense emanating from Turkey can be read at the link if you're curious, dear Reader, but also Deutsche Welle reports:
The German Foreign Ministry meanwhile updated its travel advisory on Turkey, saying that Germans there should be worried about "heightened political tensions and protests that could be directed at Germans."

The revision also recommends that German visitors to Turkey "stay away from political gatherings and from larger groups of people in general."

The Netherlands followed suit and also revised their travel advice for Turkey, urging Dutch citizens visiting Turkey to exercise caution.

"There have been diplomatic tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands," the ministry wrote."Be alert and avoid large crowds."

German Interior Minister Speaks Out

[AnNahar] German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Tuesday said Ankara was playing the role of the victim with its broadsides against NATO allies, as it seeks to galvanize support ahead of a key referendum.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had sparked consternation when he made an ultra-nationalist hand-sign known as the "Wolf's Greeting" during a campaign appearance in Hamburg.

While stopping short of pronouncing an all-out ban on future rallies by Turkish politicians in Germany, De Maiziere signaled that he has had enough of Ankara's provocations.

"There are clear limits beyond which my tolerance ends, this includes when the limits of what is punishable are crossed -- when foreign ministers make the Wolf's Greeting on German soil, or discredit our country with disrespectful Nazi comparisons," he said.

He also voiced displeasure that Turkish domestic political tensions are being increasingly imported to Germany.
Posted by trailing wife 2017-03-15 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [314 views ]  Top
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