Turkish group says case against Booking.com is not political

ISTANBUL — The head of a Turkish travel association says a court ruling in Turkey against Booking.com, a travel website based in the Netherlands, is not linked to political tension between the two countries.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Cetin Gurcun, secretary general of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, as saying Thursday that the association had lodged a case against Booking.com for "unfair competition" in 2015. Gurcun says ties between Turkey and the Netherlands were good at the time.

A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered a halt to Booking.com activities in Turkey while the legal case is ongoing.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated in recent weeks over Dutch restrictions on Turkish ministers' efforts to campaign for diaspora votes ahead of a referendum on whether to expand the Turkish president's powers.

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