Netherlands cancels Turkish foreign minister's flight for campaigning visit

The prime minister was also asked about the diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands, which escalated over the weekend after Turkish ministers tried to campaign in Rotterdam despite a government ban.

Turkey's Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya appeared at the scene after reportedly travelling overland from Germany, but Turkish TV said she was stopped by Dutch police some 30 metres (yards) short of the consulate.

Reality Check verdict: Germany and the Netherlands have banned or obstructed a number of Turkish political rallies in recent days, sparking a furious diplomatic row with Turkey.

Commenting on the incident, President Erdogan labelled the Dutch authorities as "Nazi remnants" and "fascists".

In a written statement early on Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country will strongly respond to the Dutch actions.

Protesters angry at the treatment of Turkey's Family Minister rally at the Dutch Embassy in Ankara.




"I was told to leave the country and return to Germany as soon as possible", she added. The Minister added that Turkey would give the Netherlands "the response it deserves". The latest chapter in Turkey's diplomatic disputes, complete with a Turkish minister being escorted out of the country, riot police fighting Turks in Rotterdam and the Turkish foreign minister's plane being denied permission to land in the country, has fuelled nationalism and could tip the balance in favor of the "yes" vote.

"If the Netherlands cancels my flight, we will impose severe sanctions on them that will affect it economically and politically", the foreign minister said in remarks in a TV interview on CNN Turk.

"You Mr Rutte, are not prime minister of the Netherlands, but prime minister of foreigners". Turkish officials have been campaigning in various European cities before the April 16 referendum. "It was very hard to agree with the Turkish foreign minister on the logistics of a visit he wanted to pay last Saturday to speak with a limited - in our view it should be a limited group of Turkish people in one of the official Turkish residences - it was very hard to come to a logistical arrangement". "It should be noted that, in this respect, the Turkish government does not want to respect those rules".

Starting as he meant to go on, anti-Muslim Mr Wilders accused the Dutch government of spending on "immigrants and Greeks" but not its own people. "A Turkish campaign has no business being here in Germany", de Maiziere told local media.

Equally, with a political vulture such as Mr Wilders making racist, spurious and nauseating claims about the "Islamisation" of Europe, the last thing the government of the Netherlands needs is to be seen at home as an electoral constituency of Turkey.

The last time European Union foreign ministers met they discussed the issue of Turkish political rallies but have not agreed a joint policy on it, despite some calls for an EU-wide rule.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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