Netherlands bars Turkish ministers as rally dispute escalatesSun Mar 12, 2017 | 1:23am ESTBy Tuvan Gumrukcu and Thomas Escritt | ANKARA/ROTTERDAMThe Netherlands barred Turkish ministers from speaking in Rotterdam on Saturday in a row over Ankara’s political campaigning among Turkish emigres, leading President Tayyip Erdogan to brand its fellow NATO member a “Nazi remnant”.The dispute escalated into a major diplomatic incident in the evening, as Turkey’s family minister was prevented by police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. Hundreds of protesters waving Turkish flags gathered outside, demanding to see the minister.Dutch police used dogs and water cannon early on Sunday to disperse the crowd, which threw bottles and stones. Several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons, a Reuters witness said. They carried out charges on horseback, while officers advanced on foot with shields and armored vans. …From videos, it looked like the cops wanted it more this time: dogs, horses, shields, billyclubs, water cannons, black mariahs, the cops came ready to rumble.
“The world must take a stance in the name of democracy against this fascist act! This behavior against a female minister can never be accepted,” she said. The Rotterdam mayor confirmed she was being escorted by police to the German border.The Dutch government, which stands to lose heavily to the anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders in elections next week, said it considered the visits undesirable and “the Netherlands could not cooperate in the public political campaigning of Turkish ministers in the Netherlands.”The government said it saw the potential to import divisions into its own Turkish minority, which has both pro- and anti-Erdogan camps. …Erdogan is looking to the large number of emigre Turks living in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to help clinch victory next month in a referendum that would give the presidency sweeping new powers. …Cavusoglu, who was barred from a similar meeting in Hamburg last week but spoke instead from the Turkish consulate, accused the Dutch of treating the many Turkish citizens in the country like hostages, cutting them off from Ankara.“If my going will increase tensions, let it be … I am a foreign minister and I can go wherever I want,” he addedWell, actually, you can’t.
hours before his planned flight to Rotterdam was banned. …Addressing a rally of supporters, Erdogan retaliated against the decision to prevent the Turkish foreign minister from visiting Rotterdam.“Listen Netherlands, you’ll jump once, you’ll jump twice, but my people will thwart your game,” he said. “You can cancel our foreign minister’s flight as much as you want, but let’s see how your flights will come to Turkey now.”“They don’t know diplomacy or politics. They are Nazi remnants. They are fascists,” he said.