EU Leaders Criticize Turkey Over Accusations of 'Nazism, Fascism'

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14 March, 2017

The Dutch government barred Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu from flying to Rotterdam on Saturday and later stopped Family Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate there, before escorting her out of the country to Germany.

The BBC's Mark Lowen, in Istanbul, says that Turkey and the Netherlands, two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, are now locked in an "unprecedented diplomatic crisis".

The president lashed out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said earlier Monday that the Netherlands had her "full support and solidarity" in the Turkish-Dutch row.

The ministry said the Dutch Embassy's charge d'affaires, Daan Feddo Huisinga, was called in and handed two formal protest notes.

Protesters wave flags outside the Dutch consulate in central Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue, the main shopping road of Istanbul.

The Dutch foreign ministry urged citizens visiting Turkey to exercise caution following "diplomatic tensions" between the two nations, advising people to "be alert and avoid large crowds".

The Turkish foreign ministry said the Dutch charge d'affaires in Ankara was summoned and told Turkey did not want the Dutch ambassador - now on holiday - to return "for a while".

It's probably been easy to overlook with all the other news boiling over these days, but there's a war going on at the moment between the Netherlands and Turkey.

Addressing an inauguration ceremony in Istanbul, Erdogan said: "How will your country's [diplomatic] flights come here now after not granting permission to our foreign minister?"

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Turkey summoned the Dutch envoy in Ankara to complain about the actions of Rotterdam police against Turkish protesters over the weekend as a row over Ankara's political campaigning overseas widened.

Earlier on Saturday, in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Turk, Mr Cavusoglu said: "If the Netherlands cancels my flight permit, our sanctions to the Netherlands would be heavy".

"All Turkish citizens, inside and outside of the country, should have ample opportunity to be informed about the pros and cons of proposed constitutional amendments and to engage in an open, fair and inclusive discussion in the referendum campaign", said Jagland.

After Mr Wilders accused the government of a weak response to Turkish plans to send ministers to the Netherlands to campaign, he insisted it was his pressure which made the difference.

Still, Cavusoglu was determined to go, saying: "If tensions will increase because of my visit, let them be". "The Turkish government is right and to a limited extent the Europeans as well", said Eralp.

The Dutch government has said such rallies are "undesirable".

Rutte stands to benefit "because he acted firmly to defend the Netherlands in an global conflict", said Sarah de Lange, a professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam. Wilders has built his campaign on "de-Islamizing" the Netherlands.

"We do not want internal conflicts imported from Turkey with the assistance of a very self-assured Turkish government".

About 1,000 people waving Turkish flags gathered on the street leading to the consulate, an AFP photographer saw, as tensions rocketed over rallies overseas to help Ankara gain backing for an April referendum vote.


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