Turkish consul-general refuses meeting with Rotterdam mayor

. ()

Turkish consul-general Sadin Ayyildiz cancelled a meeting scheduled with Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb for today, a spokesperson for Aboutaleb confirmed to the Telegraaf. The mayor wanted to discuss tensions in the Turkish community and a controversial letter sent to mayors in the Rotterdam region.

According to broadcaster NOS, the letter sent by the consul-general contains instructions on how the Turkish government wants mayors to act when it comes to demonstrations following an attempted coup in the country last month. Something Aboutaleb feels goes too far.

A spokesperson for the Turkish embassy in The Hague told the broadcaster that such matters are not discussed with mayors, only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The embassy added that while the impression exists that Aboutaleb arranged the meeting with the consul-general, it was in fact a meeting arranged long ago by the Turks themselves as a courtesy call. The embassy feels that the unrest surrounding the letter is unjustified because it contains on the wishes of the Turkish government and no advice.

No new meeting was arranged. But according to Aboutaleb's spokesperson, the Rotterdam mayor is still open to a conversation.