Turkey Referendum: Clashes as Dutch Expel Minister
Albanian Daily News
Published March 12, 2017
Some 1,000 protesters took to the streets outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam

Dutch riot police have clashed with protesters in Rotterdam, amid a diplomatic row that saw a Turkish minister escorted out of the country.

Water cannon and police on horseback were used to disperse about 1,000 people outside the Turkish consulate.

The minister was trying to win support among expatriates for a referendum on expanding Turkish presidential powers. The Dutch government says such rallies would stoke tensions days before the Netherlands' general election. Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, Turkey's family minister, had arrived by road on Saturday ahead of her planned rally.

But she was denied entry to the consulate in Rotterdam.

Ms Kaya was then taken to the German border by police, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed early on Sunday morning.

Earlier, the Netherlands had barred Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the country by plane. He has now travelled to Metz in northern France to address a rally there on Sunday.

In a Facebook post, Mr Rutte said attempts to find a "reasonable solution" to the countries' differences had proved "impossible", while dismissing Ms Kaya's arrival in Rotterdam as "irresponsible".

Ms Kaya said on Twitter: "The world must take a stance in the name of democracy against this fascist act! This behaviour against a female minister can never be accepted."

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday that Turkey would respond in the "harshest ways" to this "unacceptable behaviour".

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper later reported that Ms Kaya had flown from Cologne back to Istanbul.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier denounced the Dutch government as "Nazi remnants and fascists" for denying the rallies.

The BBC's Turkey correspondent, Mark Lowen, says that what began as a diplomatic row has turned into a full-blown bilateral crisis.

(Source: BBC)

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