The diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands has escalated to unprecedented level. The Dutch detained a Turkish minister and escorted her to the borders in Germany, police used dogs and water cannon to disperse angry Turks protesting near the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned the Netherlands on Sunday that Turkey would retaliate in the “harshest ways”. Speaking at a referendum rally on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Dutch ““vestiges of the Nazis,” and “fascists.”
Just hours after Dutch authorities banned Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying to Rotterdam, Turkey‘s family minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, said on Twitter she was being escorted back to Germany.
“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,” she said. The Rotterdam mayor confirmed she was being escorted by police to the German border.
Kaya later boarded a private plane from the German town of Cologne to return to Istanbul, mass-circulating newspaper Hurriyet said on Sunday.
Hundreds of protesters waving Turkish flags gathered outside the Turkish consulate demanding to see the minister. They threw bottles and stones.
— Cahida Dêrsim (@dersi4m) March 12, 2017
Several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons, a witness said. Police carried out charges on horseback, while officers advanced on foot with shields and armoured vans.
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. Dutch politicians across the spectrum said they supported Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte‘s decision to ban the visits.
PS Adding a bit of my own sauce on the issue, I have to say, I wonder whether the Dutch would have reacted the same way, hadn’t it be for the elections next week.