ANKARA, March 12 (Xinhua) — Turkish leaders has threatened Dutch government to retaliate in the “harshest ways” after Turkish ministers were barred from holding rallies in Rotterdam for a referendum on constitutional amendments to expand the president’s powers.
“You will pay the price if you sacrifice ties between Turkey-Netherlands. We have yet to do what is required,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
“I thought that Nazism was over, but I was wrong. In fact, Nazism is up on its feet in the West,” he said.
“We’ll respond in harshest way,” the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday speaking at a rally in western Turkey. “Hey Europe, please don’t meddle in Turkey’s internal affairs and politics and don’t take a side,” he said.
Diplomatic tensions between the two countries escalated on the weekend after the Dutch authorities canceled Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permission to the Netherlands and then blocked Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday. As she insisted to enter the consulate compound, the minister was declared “persona non grata” and deported to Germany.
Dutch police intervened hundreds of Turkish protesters that were demonstrating in front of the Turkish consulate compound after the Turkish minister was blocked from entering, with seven Turks were injured and 12 others were detained.
“I went there to meet our electorate, to meet them at our consulate which is part of our homeland. We do not need to get permission for that,” Minister Kaya told reporters on Sunday after she arrived in Istanbul.
They were treated rudely by the Dutch authorities, and the chargé d’affaires of Turkish embassy in Netherlands and five security guards of the minister were detained, the minister added.
“An apology from the Netherlands will not be enough to normalize relations, and the Turkish government will take additional steps against this country,” Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said on Sunday in France where he arrived to hold a rally after he could not travel to Netherlands.
The minister also called on European Union to side with Turkey and react against Netherlands as the Dutch government has “violated European norms.”
Hundreds of protesters held demonstrations at the Dutch missions in Turkey on late Saturday and Sunday, and an unidentified person downed the Dutch flag in consulate in Istanbul and raised Turkish flag.
Entries and exits had been closed to the Netherlands’ consulate in Istanbul and embassy in Ankara, along with the Dutch chargé d’affaires’ house and the ambassador’s residence.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Sunday that he would do everything to “de-escalate” a diplomatic tension with Turkey.
“I’ve never experienced this before, but we want to be the more prudent party. If they escalate we will have to respond, but we will do everything in our power to de-escalate,” he said.
The diplomatic rift erupted when the Turkish ministers attempted to campaign in the Netherlands, where around 500,000 Turkish immigrants and their children mostly holding dual citizenships live, just days before the March 15 Dutch election.
The Dutch government said it withdrew the permission for Turkish politician’s campaign because of “risks to public order and security.”
Prime Minister Rutte is in election fight with Geert Wilders, who is poised to increase his share of the vote after having campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform targeting Turkish immigrants.