Although Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg condiers the tensions between The Netherlands and Turkey as a “bilateral” issue, he called allies for “calm and respect”. However the fears for the security of the diplomatic corps in Turkey remain vivid – during the weekend protestors pulled down the Dutch flag from the mast on the territory of the General Consulate of The Netherlands in Itambul. The incident demonstrated the persistent breach in security of of the foreign missions in Turkey.
The concerns for the safety of the Euopean diplomats in Turkey is vivid, and well grounded: just a few month ago the Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov was shot by a terrorist at opening an exhibition in Ankara (19.12.2017). Many experts blamed the lack of an adequate security measures from behalf of the Turkish authorities.
Stoltenberg said he has been in contact with both Dutch and Turkish authorities, passing the message of keeping even a “robust debate” with mutual respect, and focus on threats and challenges NATO faces, that need united response from the all NATO allies.
Turkish protestors burning French flage, mistaken for Dutch one.