Turkey looks forward to queen's visit

27th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 February 2007, AMSTERDAM – "The Netherlands has a solid reputation here in Turkey," says the Dutch ambassador in Ankara Marcel Kurpershoek. Queen Beatrix kicks off a state visit to Turkey today, accompanied by Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima.

27 February 2007

AMSTERDAM – "The Netherlands has a solid reputation here in Turkey," says the Dutch ambassador in Ankara Marcel Kurpershoek. Queen Beatrix kicks off a state visit to Turkey today, accompanied by Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima.

"Last summer I made an 8,000-km tour of the country and you notice everywhere: the name Holland brings a smile to people's faces."

That is very promising for the queen's visit. The diplomat says that President Ahmet Sezer is also determined to make the official visit a success.

The fact that the president will not be attending the concert of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, which Queen Beatrix is presenting to the Turks on Wednesday has nothing to do with it.

"I was told that it is not in accordance with protocol for the president to attend such a function, it is not customary." Kurpershoek could not officially give any further explanation for the decision on Monday.

Various sources however have made it clear that the strictly secular president's absence at the concert has something to do with the fact that many of the women attending the concert are expected to be wearing headscarves. The wife of prime minister Recep Erdogan for instance usually wears a headscarf.

The wind ensemble concert will take place at the theatre of private Bilkent University, which has been granted the status of domain of the queen for the occasion of the concert, and she may invite whomever she likes.

Kurpershoek said that Sezer's good will towards the Dutch royals is evident in the fact that he has offered them the presidential guesthouse in Istanbul on the Bosporus. "That is a special gesture."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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