Dutch MPs call for EU arms embargo on ‘rogue state’ Turkey

Politicians say Ankara is fuelling various regional conflicts

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony to mark the modern Turkey's founder Ataturk's death anniversary, in Ankara, Turkey November 10,  2020. Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
Powered by automated translation

MPs from four prominent Dutch political parties want the European Union to introduce an arms embargo on Turkey due to its involvement in various conflicts around the region.

The VVD, CDA, D66 and Christian Union are tabling a motion in the Dutch parliament that calls for the government to pressure the EU to take the measure against NATO partner Turkey, local news site NOS reported.

Ankara has been criticised for its destabilising actions in the eastern Mediterranean – which have been condemned by the EU – and its role in various conflicts, such as the war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Turkey backing the latter.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been rebuked for using inflammatory language.

"Time and again Turkey has crossed the line. It is time for firm measures," said Joel Voordewind, a Christian Union MP.

"If Erdogan fosters military conflict instead of promoting stability, we must draw a clear line: no more weapons to Turkey as long as this continues,” said Sjoerd Sjoerdsma from D66.

Martijn van Helvert of the CDA said Mr Erdogan’s actions risked allowing Turkey to become a “rogue state”.

"It is bad that we have to, but we want the EU to impose an arms embargo on our NATO ally. We must protect innocent civilians."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was among European leaders to criticise Mr Erdogan for comments he made about French President Emmanuel Macron last month, amid a row over France’s tougher stance on radical Islam.