Tensions between Turkey and Netherlands spiral out of control

World Today

A vendor holds Turkish flags for sale during a protest outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, March 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

In the Netherlands, tensions have spiked with Turkey, following the barring of Turkish Ministers from a public rally.

Clashes erupted between Turkish supporters and Dutch riot police. The rally’s are meant to sway expatriate Turks to cast ballots in next month’s referendum, granting greater powers to a Turkish president.

The Netherlands is concerned about security, with its own elections this week.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports from Istanbul.

Tensions between Turkey and Netherlands spiral out of control

In the Netherlands tensions have spiked with Turkey. It follows the barring of Turkish Ministers from a public rally. Clashes erupted between Turkish supporters and Dutch riot police. The rally's are meant to sway expatriate Turks to cast ballots in next month's referendum, granting greater powers to a Turkish president.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu intended to speak to a large group of Turkish citizens in the Netherlands over the weekend.

The Netherlands cancelled his permit to land citing security concerns. The Turkish official took it as a diplomatic slap in the face.

It marked the beginning of a diplomatic crisis between the two old allies who in 2012 celebrated 400 years of diplomatic relations.

When a second Turkish minister traveling to Rotterdam, Netherlands was denied entry to the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam and sent to the German border, matters became worse.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in France on Sunday for a public appearance and spoke to reporters.

Cavusoglu emphasized that the actions taken by the Dutch government were completely against international laws.

He was not the only one–infuriated hundreds of Turks gathered in Rotterdam to protest the Dutch governments’ actions.

Clashes erupted between Dutch police and demonstrators.

Riot police were seen beating some of the protesters and later used water cannons to disperse the crowd.

There were demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara overnight as well protesters chanting “Recep Tayyip Erdogan” and threw eggs at the Dutch embassy in the Turkish capital.

Officials emphasized Turkey would retaliate in the “harshest way” possible.

Previously President Erdogan had mentioned sanctions could be imposed following next month’s referendum.

In a conference meeting on Sunday, Erdogan assured his supporters the Netherlands had yet to receive Turkey’s response.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Prime Minister stated the Netherlands is willing to de-escalate the tension, but remarks by the Turkish President that compared the Dutch to Nazis were not seen by some as helping the situation.