Following a decision to normalize relations between Turkey and the Netherlands in July, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok is expected to pay an official visit to Turkey today to discuss the steps to be taken for the recovery of the bilateral ties.
Ahead of his visit to Turkey, Blok told Anadolu Agency (AA) in a written statement that his aim to improve the relations between the two countries has been restored. He also added that his visit to Turkey is an "excellent opportunity to raise these issues with each other and address concerns we have in these areas."
The talks between Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Blok are expected to focus on Turkey's EU process, the current regional and international issues, security, migration and economy.
The two ministers are expected today to visit Parliament and hold a joint press conference, which aims to emphasize the restored ties between Netherlands and Turkey.
Tomorrow, Blok and Çavuşoğlu will attend the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, which will host more than 600 politicians, businesspeople, academics, activists, journalists, opinion leaders, intellectuals and policymakers.
Meanwhile, in order to restore the bilateral relations, the two countries recently appointed their ambassadors. In line with this, ambassadors Marjanne de Kwaasteniet and Şaban Dişli were reinstated in Ankara and The Hague, respectively.
Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands became strained ahead of the April 2017 referendum on the constitutional amendment envisaging Turkey's presidential system.
As the Dutch government did not allow campaign rallies for the Turkish diaspora in the country, former Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was barred from entering the Turkish Consulate in the Netherlands in the southwestern province of Rotterdam. Around the same time, Dutch authorities also refused the prior permission of a plane carrying Çavuşoğlu at that time.
Turkey recalled its ambassador back home due to a row in March 2017, while Dutch Ambassador Cornelis Van Rij, who was recalled to the Netherlands for consultations after Ankara asked him not to return for a while, was not allowed back into Turkey. The Dutch Foreign Ministry finally withdrew the envoy in February, and diplomatic relations were maintained by the charge d'affaires for over a year.
On July 20, Turkey and the Netherlands agreed to normalize relations. The decision was made after Çavuşoğlu met with Blok at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July.
Emphasizing the need to leave behind the regretful events that damaged the long-standing relations, Çavuşoğlu said that Blok sent him a letter expressing eagerness to normalize the diplomatic ties.