Turkey slams EU for backing Netherlands in dispute

Turkey has criticized the European Union for siding with the Netherlands in a diplomatic dispute over Turkish ministers' plans to hold campaigns there, saying the EU's position "lends credence" to extremists.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday said the EU's stance on Turkey was "short-sighted" and "carried no value" for Turkey. It said the European bloc, which called on Turkey to cease excessive statements, "ignored the (Netherlands') violation of diplomatic conventions and the law."

The spat is over the Netherlands' refusal to allow two Turkish ministers to campaign and court the votes of Turks eligible to vote in an April 16 referendum on expanding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.

Turkey on Monday slapped a series of political sanctions against the Netherlands, including halting political discussions between the two countries.