Dutch embassy & consulate in Turkey closed off - Turkish FM sources

by Wade Massey March 12, 2017, 0:26
Dutch embassy & consulate in Turkey closed off - Turkish FM sources

Dutch authorities on Saturday barred Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu from landing in Rotterdam, after a political rally at which he was slated to appear was cancelled. "Ban our foreign minister from flying however much you like, but from now on let's see how your flights will land in Turkey".

"Many Dutch people with a Turkish background are authorized to vote in the referendum over the Turkish constitution".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted angrily, threatening to respond in kind against diplomats from the Netherlands and describing the Dutch as "Nazi remnants" and "fascists".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would go to the Netherlands on Saturday to drum up support for a high-stakes referendum, despite the Dutch government's refusal to facilitate his trip.

Cavusoglu said their would be "heavy sanctions" against the Netherlands for canceling his flight and Erdogan suggested the country may retaliate against Dutch flights.

Rutte is not alone in making these moves, as Germany has been canceling several events planned for senior ministers from the Justice and Development (AK) Party.

The Dutch vote on Wednesday in national elections, the campaigning for which has featured anti-immigration sentiment, and there are concerns Cavusoglu's presence could disrupt public order.

"It has been explained to our counterparts that this grave decision taken against Turkey and the Dutch-Turkish community will cause serious problems diplomatically, politically, economically and in other areas", said the Turkish ministry. "That makes the search for a reasonable solution impossible".

The family minister's vehicle was intercepted by Dutch police while entering the country.

A spokesman for the President lambasted the bans, claiming they revealed a "tragicomedy" on attitudes towards the Turkish government and interference in the referendum.

Rutte said it had been a tough decision given Turkey was "a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", but he insisted: "I really think we made the right decision here".

Earlier this week, the cancellations in Germany led Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to accuse Berlin of "Nazi practices".

Relations between Turkey and European countries have deteriorated since last July's attempted coup in Turkey.


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