Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Life&Culture | By Kristin Armstrong

Turkey warns the Netherlands of possible sanctions

The move follows the Dutch government barring Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying to Rotterdam.

"We do not want the Dutch ambassador, now on leave, to return to his post for some time. If the Netherlands cancels my flight permit, we will introduce serious sanctions", he said, Turkish media outlets reported.

Meanwhile, Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya (below) travelled by road to the Netherlands from neighbouring Germany after the Dutch government revoked landing rights for the plane carrying Mr Cavusoglu.

A spokesman for the Dutch government added:'Many Dutch people with a Turkish background are authorised to vote in the referendum over the Turkish constitution, ' it said.

Other ministers spoke of possible sanctions against Holland and a Dutch diplomat was summoned to the foreign minister in Ankara for a reprimand.

Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have voiced displeasure that the Turkish referendum - over constitutional amendments created to consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's already formidable powers - was being debated within their borders.

Ibrahim Kalin said: "A huge anti-Turkey, anti-Erdogan attitude is being systematically produced and serviced to the world, especially through Germany".

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Speaking at a rally in Istanbul, Erdoğan said of the Dutch government: "They do not know politics or worldwide diplomacy ... these Nazi remnants, they are fascists", with the crowds booing in response.

Cavusoglu said that the German and Dutch bans on campaigns for a "yes" vote in the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes means that Europe is "taking a side for a "no" vote".

Moves to block the events came amid concern over Erdogan's government campaigning in European towns and cities, particularly after a sweeping crackdown following last year's failed coup raised human rights concerns.

The legal opinion criticized the Turkish parliament's approval of the amendments when several deputies from the second-largest opposition party were in jail. "It's clearly an attempt to escalate the conflict", said Finkel. They're trying to play this national card - much in the way that Geert Wilders is playing the nationalist card.

The Council of Europe panel's legal opinion has no binding power over Turkey, which joined the 47-nation body in 1950.

What's behind row between Turkey and Germany?

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