Turkey's Erdogan Calls Dutch `Fascists' After Minister Grounded

12 March, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders | Thomas Kienzle  AFP via Getty Images

Turkish president President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte's move to bar Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's plane from landing in the Netherlands.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the Dutch as "Nazi remnants and fascists", as a diplomatic row grows over a cancelled rally.

But the rally was banned by Rotterdam city authorities.

Turkey also closed off the residences of the Dutch ambassador, charge d'affaires and consul general as tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners escalated after the Dutch government barred Turkey's foreign minister from flying to Rotterdam.

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".

Rutte said that while the Netherlands and Turkey could search for "an acceptable solution", Turkey was not respecting the rules relating to public gatherings.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was blocked by Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam after she drove into the country, Netherlands, NOS News reported.

"For that reason the Netherlands has let it be known it will withdraw permission to land" the minister's plane.

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In response to the decision to cancel the rally in Rotterdam, President Erdoğan called the Dutch "Nazi remnants and fascists".

The plans are to be voted on in a referendum in Turkey next month.

However, he said, a public threat of sanctions made by the Turks before the negotiations were complete made it impossible to find a "reasonable solution" - so the Netherlands banned the foreign minister's flight.

German and Dutch bans on campaigns for a "yes" vote in the April referendum are a signal that Europe is "taking a side for a "no" vote", Çavuşoğlu said.

European leaders have accused Erdogan of concentrating power as his government cracks down on dissent following a failed coup last July.

Erdogan's ministers are keen to tap into the diaspora in Germany, which includes 1.4 million people eligible to vote in Turkey - the fourth-largest electoral base after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

"We will not participate in a visit by a Turkish government official who wants to conduct a political campaign for a referendum", Koenders said.

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