Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey’s red meat association has ordered a consignment of prize Dutch cattle to be sent back to the Netherlands, saying it no longer wants to farm the cows due to the diplomatic crisis between the countries.
Bulent Tunc, the head of the Turkish Association of Red Meat Producers, told Turkish media that a symbolic consignment of 40 Holstein Friesian cattle was already being sent back to the Netherlands.
“The Dutch Holstein cows have become very common in our country. But this breed is starting to cause serious problems,” he told the Anadolu news agency.
“In future we do not want animal products from Holland. The first batch of Holsteins have been loaded and we will send them back,” he added.
He said Turkey should start focusing on breeding its own cattle. “We have our own quality breeds,” he said.
Tunc later told the Hurriyet daily that a symbolic number of 40 cattle had been loaded for sending back to Holland from the Biga dairy production site in the western Canakkale province.
“If they don’t accept them back then we will distribute the cuts” after slaughter, he added.
Turkey and the Netherlands are going through their most explosive crisis after The Hague blocked Turkish ministers from holding rallies to back constitutional changes expanding Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.
Turkey has suspended high-level relations with The Netherlands and blocked its ambassador — currently outside the country — from returning to his post.
The government has also said economic sanctions could be imposed against the Netherlands — a key trade partner and investor — but has not given details.