Turkey foreign minister insists on Netherlands visit

Turkey foreign minister insists on Netherlands visit

Turkey foreign minister insists on Netherlands visit

Turkey also closed off the residences of the Dutch ambassador, charge d'affaires, and consul general.

"We do not want the Dutch ambassador, now on leave, to return to his post for some time".

The fact that "a Turkish minister wants to speak about such a national topic, on a referendum that moves in the wrong direction, further away from democracy, to Turks that are also Dutch citizens, we find the whole thing undesirable", Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday.

"They don't know anything about politics or global diplomacy", said Erdoğan, according the translation of a Reuters video.

"Therefore we will not cooperate", he said, adding he had informed Cavusoglu. Despite the Turkish leadership's efforts a number of pre-voting rallies were cancelled in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

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The Netherlands is not the first country to impose such a ban.

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

But the rally was banned by Rotterdam city authorities.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday blasted the Dutch denial of his entry by air as a "scandal from every angle and unacceptable", while another Turkish minister chose to enter the Netherlands by land amid a worsening diplomatic row.

The family minister's vehicle was intercepted by Dutch police while entering the country.

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In response to the foreign minister's comments, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said: "it's a insane remark, of course".

Cavusoglu responded that Turkey would respond with harsh economic and political sanctions if he were banned.

Mr Rutte warned in a statement that the Turkish threat of sanctions made "the search for a reasonable solution impossible".

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. The campaign has been dominated by issues of identity, with anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders set to make strong gains.

European leaders have accused Erdogan of concentrating power as his government cracks down on dissent following a failed coup last July.

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It said the Turkish government "does not want to respect the rules in this matter".

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