Dutch warned to avoid gatherings and public spaces in Turkey in updated travel advice
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Turkey, due to current political tensions between the two countries. The Dutch government does not advise against going to Turkey, but does warn Dutch travelers to watch out for gatherings and avoid public places, ANP reports.
These warnings are on top of the already in place advice of risks in Turkey due to terrorist attacks and political tensions.
Over the weekend Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Netherlands of Nazism and Fascism. This happened after the Dutch government refused entry to the country to Turkish Ministers who wanted to campaign in the Netherlands for a referendum that will give Erdogan more power. The Turkish Ministers still tried to go to the consulate in Rotterdam, and ended up being deported to Germany, according to NOS. Erdogan also threatened the Netherlands with boycotts and sanctions, saying that the Netherlands will pay a price. What sanctions he has in mind is still unclear.
What is clear is that Turkey will suffer more than the Netherlands should they impose sanctions on our country, Marijke Zewiister of ABN Amro's Economic Office said to newspaper AD. The Netherlands is one of the main investors in Turkey, both economically and in the field of tourism. "The country is economically in dire straits. The growth and investments are significantly reduced. If the Dutch bypass Turkey due to a boycott or from fear, the country is cutting its own fingers." Zewiister said.
The Turkish tourism sector is already in a bad position following a failed military coup and a number of terrorists attacks. Bookings from the Netherlands decreased by 30 percent last year.
Travel organizations are hesitant about predicting how this political row between Turkey and the Netherlands will affect tourism in Turkey. "As long as there are no concrete sanctions, nothing can be said about it and we will not speculate", Steven van der Heijden of Corendon said to the newspaper. TUI Nederland also did not want to speculate.
In terms of bookings to Turkey for this summer, the number is about the same as last year this time, a spokesperson for TUI said to AD. Which means it is still significantly lower than in previous years. "The real booking season begins in April, so we will see how it develops. A sense of insecurity and vacation do not go well together."
Last year the Netherlands exported 5.4 billion euros in goods and services to Turkey, about 1.2 percent of the total Dutch exports. That puts Turkey as an export partner equal to Austria and Denmark. The Netherlands mainly exported medicines, pharmaceuticals, computers and other office equipment to Turkey. The Netherlands imported 2.8 billion euros in goods and services from Turkey last year, slightly less than 1 percent of the total imports. Imports consisted of vehicles, textile yarn and fabric, vegetables, fruit, iron and steel.