ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — The Latest on the diplomatic tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands (all times local):
Turkey’s top diplomat has drawn more than a hundred people at a campaign gathering in the northern French city of Metz amid a diplomatic spat with the Netherlands.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was in France Sunday to whip up support for controversial constitutional reforms to expand the powers of the Turkish presidency.
Supporters draped in Turkish flags greeted the minister as he reached the Centre des Congres of Metz with cheers of “Turkey” and “God is Great.”
Turkish officials have been scheduling campaign events for the referendum in several European countries with sizable populations of Turkish expatriates.
Cavusoglu was blocked Saturday from holding a rally in the Dutch city of Rotterdam after the Netherlands withdrew his landing permission.
The diplomatic incident has triggered an exchange of sharp words and tit-for-tat moves between the two NATO allies.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he appropriately accused the Dutch government of “Nazism and fascism, saying only those types of regimes would bar foreign ministers from traveling within their countries.
Erdogan also said during a live televised address on Sunday that the Netherlands would “pay the price” for sacrificing its ties with a NATO ally to upcoming elections there.
He also said Turkey would retaliate for the ousting of the Turkish family affairs minister from the Netherlands.
Erdogan said: “I have said that I had thought that Nazism was over, but that I was wrong. Nazism is alive in the West.”
He thanked France, which allowed Turkey’s foreign minister to address Turkish citizens in the city of Metz on Sunday.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he was forced by threats from Ankara to keep two Turkish ministers from traveling within the Netherlands on Saturday.
Turkish foreign minister warns there “will be repercussions” against the Netherlands and that an “apology was not enough” as tensions continue escalating between the two NATO allies.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talked with reporters Sunday in Metz, France where he condemned Dutch authorities canceling campaign rallies by himself and another cabinet member.
Noting that Ankara already had barred the Dutch ambassador from returning to Turkey, Cavusoglu added: “We have other steps in mind. We’ve already begun planning them. We will certainly take those steps and more.”
Cavusoglu says Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had “arrogantly” said he could only come to the Netherlands to deliver tulips and tour museums, but not to see Turks living in the country.
The minister also condemned that treatment of Turkish protesters in Rotterdam, saying he would show photographs of dogs being released on them.
A French official says Turkish foreign minister is being allowed to address a rally in the country’s eastern city of Metz because the event represents no threat to public order.
Alain Carton, secretary general of the Metz prefecture, said Sunday that in the absence of such a risk, the rally must be permitted in the name of the freedom of assembly.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu appeared at a midday rally with the local Turkish population that also was expected to draw Turkish expatriates from a nearby region of Germany.
The decision by French authorities to permit Cavusoglu to campaign in the country for a Turkish referendum that would expand the powers of the president contrasts with the position of the Dutch.
The Dutch government refused Saturday to allow Cavusoglu to land in Rotterdam because of objections to his intention to rally for the Turkish referendum.
A man has climbed onto the roof of the Dutch consulate in Istanbul and replaced the Netherlands’ flag with the Turkish one.
Television footage shows a man standing on the roof of the building shouting Allahu Akbar, Arabic for “God is great.”
A small group of men holding Turkish flags are seen outside the consulate shouting “Damn Holland” and “Racist Holland.”
The incident occurred Sunday morning amid escalating tensions between the two NATO allies after the Netherlands barred two Turkish ministers for campaigning for an upcoming referendum on Saturday.
Private Dogan news agency reports the consulate later took down Turkey’s flag and put the Dutch flag back up.
The man is still unidentified.
Police in Rotterdam say they arrested 12 protesters as a demonstration outside the Turkish consulate devolved into rioting.
Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said the arrests were made for violence and public order offenses as Dutch-Turkish protesters pelted police with bottles and rocks early Sunday.
Police responded with batons and a water cannon.
Wessels says seven people were injured in the brief explosion of violence, including a police officer who suffered a broken hand.
The confrontation came at the end of a long standoff in which Dutch authorities refused to allow Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya into her country’s consulate in downtown Rotterdam.
A small number of protesters reacted angrily when they heard that Dutch police were driving the minister to the German border.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he was forced to keep two Turkish ministers from traveling within the Netherlands and to bar them from campaigning among Turkish voters because Ankara had threatened sanctions against his government.
Rutte said Sunday, “We can never do business under this kind of blackmail.”
The prime minister says he was shocked to see one of the ministers try to get to a Rotterdam rally by car after the government had made clear she was not welcome.
Turkey’s minister of family affairs was escorted back to the German border after a long standoff outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
Earlier, the Dutch government had withdrawn the landing rights of the plane carrying Turkey’s foreign minister.
The ministers planned to urge Turkish expatriates to back the referendum, which would expand the president’s powers.
Rutte says: “We drew a red line.”
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