Update 2: Dutch authorities have arrested Turkey’s family minister and are deporting her to#Germany according to RTL. The escalation may lead to a spike by Turks in the Netherlands, with some speculating that a curfew is imminent:
— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) March 11, 2017
Update: As expected, Gert Wilders has just chimed in, responding to the Turkish Family Minister who earlier in the day was barred by Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate:
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) March 11, 2017
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Hundreds of demonstrators waving Turkish flags gathered outside the Turkish consulate in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on Saturday night, demanding to see the Turkish minister for family affairs as a diplomatic scandal between the two countries escalated.
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) March 11, 2017
Earlier in the day, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu was barred from flying into Rotterdam to participate in pro-Erdogan rallies, to which the Turkish president responded by calling the Dutch “fascists” and his NATO partner a Nazi remnant” as the scandal over Ankara campaigning among emigre Turkish voters, which has recently swept Germany, Switzerland and Austria, intensified.
The Dutch quickly responded:
— DutchReview (@Dutchreviewing) March 11, 2017
In any case, as a protest built up by the Turkish consilate, the Police erected metal barriers and patrolled on horseback to keep the demonstrators away from the consulate as the crowd grew with more pro-Turkish protesters arriving from Germany, according to Reuters. A video released by a Turkish camera operator shows him being attacked by a police dog after he refused to leave the area in front of the consulate.
— Brenda StoterBoscolo (@BrendaStoter) March 11, 2017
ME drijft Turken terug in Rotterdam, Turkse cameraman luistert niet, politiehond bijt pic.twitter.com/ovtSCqiwX6
— roeland roovers ???? (@r0eland) March 11, 2017
Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya traveled by road to the Netherlands from neighboring Germany after the Dutch government revoked the landing rights for the plane carrying the foreign minister earlier on Saturday. Dutch TV footage showed police stopping the minister’s convoy near the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam and preventing her from entering the building.
— RT (@RT_com) March 11, 2017
Hollanda polisi Aile ve Sosyal Politikalar bakan? Dr.Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya’ya Hollanda’y? terk etmesi gerekti?ini söylüyor. Kahpe Hollanda pic.twitter.com/WowNyahrFm
— Mayho? Adam (@Mayhosadam) March 11, 2017
The Dutch government said it did not want Turkish politicians campaigning among Turkish emigres in the Netherlands, leading President Tayyip Erdogan to brand the fellow NATO member a “Nazi remnant”. The government also said it does not object to meetings in the Netherlands to give information about the Turkish referendum, “but these meetings should not add to tensions in our society and everybody who wants to organize a meeting must adhere to instructions from authorities so that public order and security can be guaranteed.” It said the Turkish government “does not want to respect the rules in this matter.”
Meanwhile, over in Turkey, the Dutch embassy and consulate in Turkey were closed off “for security reasons” on Saturday following the latest diplomatic scandal. The residences of the Dutch ambassador, charge d’affaires and consul general were also closed off, according to Reuters.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier in a statement that Ankara did not want “the Dutch ambassador, currently on leave, to return to his post for some time.”
“It has been explained to our counterparts that this grave decision taken against Turkey and the Dutch Turkish community will cause serious problems diplomatically, politically, economically and in other areas,” the statement said, as cited by Reuters.
Turkey’s president Erdogan is expected to make a statement to the nation momentarily in response to the Dutch “provocation.”
The unexpected escalation in tensions between the Netherlands and Turkey comes just three days ahead of the critical Dutch general election on March 15, in which the anti-immigration, anti-EU, Freedom Party of Geert Wilders is expected to emerge as the largest party. Today’s tensions may boost support for his platform which has seen a modest drop in public approval in recent days. A full preview of the Dutch General Election can be found here.