Dutch police use water cannon, horses on Turkish rally

Dutch police use water cannon, horses on Turkish rally

The move comes after Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he will travel to Rotterdam, despite a ban on him addressing a rally there. After the Netherlands' parliamentary election on Wednesday, Germany and France also have elections upcoming.

Twelve men were arrested for public order offences after the rally, police in Rotterdam said.

President Erdogan reacted to the ban on his foreign minister by threatening to block Dutch flights.

As tensions mount between Holland and Turkey, the Dutch politician leading the polls ahead of this week's general election has demanded that all 400,000 ethnic Turks in his country are stripped of their dual citizenship.

Turkey's Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya appeared at the scene after reportedly travelling overland from Germany, but Turkish TV said she was stopped by Dutch police some 30 metres (yards) short of the consulate.

Turkish anti-riot police officers stand guard in front of the Netherlands consulate in Ankara.

The Turkish foreign ministry also said that it does not want to see the Dutch ambassador, who is out of the country, return to his post for some time because of the increasingly divisive dispute with the Netherlands. "They suspended all of these", Kaya told Turkish state media by telephone.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said a Dutch ban on his foreign minister's visit was like Nazism, as tensions rocketed over rallies overseas to help Ankara gain backing for a key vote.

The crisis with the Netherlands is the most serious yet as tensions spiral between Turkey and its European Union allies over the desire of top Turkish officials to hold rallies overseas ahead of the April 16 referendum on a new constitution that would give Erdogan greater powers.

There was no immediate reaction from the Dutch government to Turkey's diplomatic notes.

The diplomatic spat between Ankara and the Hague flared up after the Dutch authorities made a decision to ban Turkish politicians from speaking at a rally in support of a constitutional reform in Turkey, citing security concerns.

Talking in a business meeting, the Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said the government will give "the necessary response", but did not expand on any measures Turkey were planning.

"I understand they're angry, but this of course was way out of line", he said.

Rutte is bidding for a third term, but faces a strong challenge from far-right anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV).

He compared its government's policies to "Nazi practices" for nixing campaign events by Turkish officials one week earlier. "He should not be allowed here at all", said Wilders.

He also suggested that Turkey may bar Dutch diplomatic flights from landing in his country as retaliation. The ties between Ankara and Berlin strained in recent months after a ban on rallies by the Turkish ministers in Germany.



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