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Calculated tension: Turkey talks big to Europe but holds back from economic steps

Turkey’s flare-up with the Netherlands and Germany appears to be a policy of calculated tensions, aimed at maximum political gains with minimum damage ahead of a critical referendum in April.
People shout slogans during a protest in front of the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal - RTX30O56
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In 2012, Turkey and the Netherlands marked the 400th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. In April that year, Turkey’s then-President Abdullah Gul paid a high-profile visit to the Netherlands, where Queen Beatrix hosted a dinner to honor him in the royal palace. Speaking at the dinner, Gul praised the level of bilateral ties, stressing their multifaceted dimensions in the political, economic and cultural fields.

After the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, the Netherlands was among the three NATO allies to deploy Patriot air defense batteries at the Syrian border in response to Ankara’s request for support against possible attacks.

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