March 15, 2017 / 7:06 AM / 5 months ago

Dutch investment in Turkey not at risk in diplomatic row - Ankara's EU minister

Demonstrators with banners of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gather outsidethe Turkish consulate to welcome the Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, who decided to travel to Rotterdam by land after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's flight was barred from landing by the Dutch government, in Rotterdam, Netherlands March 11, 2017.Yves Herman/Files

ANKARA (Reuters) - Dutch investment in Turkey is not at risk from the recent diplomatic row between the two countries, as Ankara's ire is focused on the Dutch government, not its people or businesses, Turkey's minister for EU Affairs told Reuters.

In an interview late on Tuesday, Omer Celik said he believed the time has come for Turkey to reassess its migration deal with the European Union, as it has become clear the bloc would not take a fair stance on its promise to grant Turks visa-free travel.

Turkey suspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands on Monday, banning the Dutch ambassador from the country and preventing diplomatic flights from landing in retaliation for the Dutch barring Ankara's ministers from speaking to rallies of overseas Turks.

While one deputy prime minister has said that economic sanctions could be in the works, Celik said Ankara was making a call to businesses worldwide that Turkey was a safe country for investment.

"Dutch businessmen who invest, have businesses and create employment in Turkey are included in this (call). They are definitely not part of the crisis," he said.

Asked if Dutch companies active in Turkey would be impacted by the row, Celik said: "The private sector, business world, tourists and the people of the Netherlands are not a part of the crisis."

President Tayyip Erdogan is campaigning for support of an April 16 referendum on boosting his powers and has been looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe to help secure victory.

The Netherlands and Germany have barred the ministers, citing public safety. Turkish law forbids election campaigning abroad and in diplomatic missions, ministers are circumventing the ban by holding what they say are cultural events with Turkish citizens.

Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan

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