Turkey turns to Human Rights court in spat with Netherlands

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile)

Turkey is turning to the European Court of Human Rights in its political battle with the Netherlands, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday. He also announced a number of sanctions against the Netherlands, including that Dutch diplomats are no longer welcome in Turkey, NU.nl reports.

Turkey and the Netherlands are in the midst of a political battle over the Netherlands refusing two Turkish Ministers access to the country so that they can campaign for a referendum that would, among other things, give Erdogan more power. Turkey responded by accusing the Netherlands of Nazism and fascism. France and Germany stated that they support the Netherlands in this matter. The European Commission and NATO called for calm. 

Now Turkey is filing charges against the Netherlands with the European Court of Human Rights. Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs is confident that should the complaints go to trial, the Netherlands will come out on top. "Going to the European Court of Human Rights is open to Turkey. Should the complaint be declared admissible, we look to the matter with confidence", he said, according to NU.nl. "Incidentally, Turkey is also at the top of the list when it comes to convictions by the European Court of Human Rights."

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is also awaiting developments with confidence, he said on RTL Late Night on Monday night. He also called the sanctions Turkey announced against the Netherlands "too bizarre for words". 

The sanctions include banning Dutch diplomatic flights. The Dutch ambassador is no longer welcome in Turkey. The friendship treaty may be terminated. And the Turks want to re-evaluate the asylum seeker deal with the European Union.

"The asylum seekers deal is also in the interest of Turkey. It's not that they are doing something for us. We are doing something together to solve a problem. We help with the shelter of Syrians in Turkey", he said to RTL. He added that it is no surprise that the sanctions are not economic in nature. "We have a huge investment position there, we are number one or two in terms of investment. I understand that they don't want to focus on that."