ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared the Dutch government as Nazi remnants and fascist after Netherlands barred Turkey’s family affair minister from entering in Rotterdam.
While address to a crowd at an opening ceremony in Istanbul, Erdogan said, “They are timid and coward. They are Nazi remnants and fascists.”
The dispute escalated into a major diplomatic incident in the evening as Turkish family minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was stopped by police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
Less than a day after Dutch authorities berried Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying to Rotterdam, the family minister said on twitter that she was escorted back to Germany. “The world must take a stance in the name of democracy against this fascist act. This behavior against a female minister can never be accepted,” she added.
Protests broke out in Rotterdam and in front of Dutch diplomatic missions in Turkey on Saturday after the Netherlands barred a plane carrying Turkey’s foreign minister from landing to stop him from addressing a political rally in the port city.
The Dutch government announced that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit was revoked amid concerns over public order at the expected large gathering of Turkish expatriates. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted angrily to the news, comparing the Dutch government to Nazis.
Cavusoglu was due to address Turkish expatriates in Rotterdam to win support for an April 16 referendum vote on the Turkish Constitution. Pushed by Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, these sweeping constitutional changes would grant new powers to Turkey’s President and transform the way the country is governed.
Turkish politicians have sought to address rallies in European cities and towns that have large populations of Turkish expatriates — around 1.5 million Turkish nationals living in Germany are eligible to vote in the referendum.