Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Culture | By Ray Hoffman

Turkish minister's Rotterdam rally canceled

Turkish minister's Rotterdam rally canceled

"Many Dutch people with a Turkish background are authorized to vote in the referendum over the Turkish constitution". Turkey also closed off the residences of the Dutch ambassador, charge d'affaires, and consul general.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it did not want the Dutch ambassador - who is now on leave - to return to Turkey "for some time".

The Dutch government said it was open to meetings in the Netherlands to provide information about the referendum, but said Turkey's government "does not want to respect the rules in this matter".

Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would travel to Rotterdam on Saturday despite "all obstacles and despite all the racist speeches".

The country's Turkish population "are not your captives", Çavuşoğlu warned the Netherlands in an interview with CNN Turk earlier on Saturday.

"How will your country's [diplomatic] flights come here now after not granting permission to our foreign minister?"

The Council of Europe experts said they had concerns about provisions allowing the new president to exercise executive power alone "with unsupervised authority to appoint and dismiss ministers, and to appoint and dismiss all high officials on the basis of criteria determined by him or her alone".

The Dutch government on March 11 barred the aircraft of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from landing, saying it had withdrawn the permission because of "risks to public order and security" caused by Cavusoglu's proposed visit to Rotterdam.

According to Anadolu Agency any Erdogan Dutch flight barring would be on diplomatic flights.

They were "crazy remarks", Rutte told reporters as he campaigned for re-election in Wednesday's polls in The Netherlands.

The diplomatic dispute between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies comes just days before the Netherlands goes to the polls in a March 15 election for the lower house of parliament. In the run-up to the referendum, set for April 16, several European nations, including the Netherlands and Germany, have canceled appearances by Turkish ministers supporting Erdogan as the ministers try to sway Turkish voters in the diaspora.

Relations between Turkey and the European Union have deteriorated in recent months, with Erdogan angry at criticism from EU members for waging a mass crackdown on opponents since he saw off a coup attempt last July. There are now at least 152 journalists behind bars across Turkey. They're trying to play this national card - much in the way that Geert Wilders is playing the nationalist card.

What's behind row between Turkey and Germany?

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