Mar 192017

Political tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands move into the economic area. After a harsh high-level diplomatic row between the two countries, a Turkish farming association decided to expel a group of 40 cows imported from Holland.

holstein cow

Dutch Holstein cows boycotted by Turkish meat producers (pic: wikipedia)

Members of the Ankara-based Beef and Lamb Producers Association decided to send 40 cows back to the Netherlands, arguing that they do not want to increase the political crisis between the NATO partners.

Bulent Tunc, the president of the red meat producers association, told journalists in Ankara that the gesture was a symbolic one.

“Holstein Cows have become common in our country, but this breed begins to cause serious problems. No more animal products from the Netherlands,” he told the Anadolu Agency. He added that his country must deal with raising its own cows. Furthermore, he explained that if the Dutch authorities refuse to take back their cows, then the animals will be killed and the meat given to the people.

Political tensions between Turkey and Europe peaked a week ago when the Dutch government barred the plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from landing in the Netherlands. The dispute escalated into a diplomatic incident on Saturday evening, when Turkey’s family minister was prevented by police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

The Turkish officials were due to participate in a rally supporting a controversial referendum that aims at giving more powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has accused Dutch officials for being “descendants of Nazis” and in reply, the Dutch Prime Minister said his allegation is beyond all reasonable limits.

Also German authorities have prevented the development of such political meetings on its territory last week, triggering additional disputes despite the already heightened tensions between the two countries.

“Mrs. Merkel supports terrorists,” said the Turkish president, while Angela Merkel has described Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement as “absurd”.

Recently, Erdogan launched a virulent attack against Netherlands accusing it of responsibility for the Srebrenica massacre more than 20 years ago.