Tabnak – One day after the Dutch government took measures against two Turkish ministers and denied them entry to the Netherlands, an unprecedented and increasing diplomatic confrontation between the two countries has been raised. Angry protesters in Turkey attacked Dutch diplomatic places in the country, while the high-ranking Turkish officials vowed to retaliate.
The diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Turkey escalated on Saturday after the Netherlands said a plane carrying Turkey’s foreign minister to a campaign rally in Rotterdam would not be allowed to land.
According to the Dutch news website "Dutch News”, Foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu was planning to speak in support of a referendum giving sweeping new powers to the Turkish president. The decision to stop the plane carrying Cavusoglu from landing was taken on public order grounds. The call by the Turkish authorities for a mass demonstration is a threat to public order and safety, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.
At the same time, in a written statement on Sunday, Binali Yildirim, Turkey's prime minister, said Turkey would take "strong countermeasures" as a response to the Dutch actions. "Our so-called European friends, who mention democracy, freedom of speech and human rights have, in the face of this event, once again failed the class," he said, adding that the recent events showed "who Turkey's real friends are".
Al-Jazeera notes that the events he was referring to included Saturday's occurrences in the city of Rotterdam, where Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, Turkey's family-affairs minister, wanted to visit the Turkish consulate to speak to a pro-Turkish crowd. However, Dutch authorities refused Kaya access to the building, resulting in a standoff between Dutch police and the Turkish minister and her security detail.
In a separate story, "Reuters” reported that Turkey will continue to take steps against the Netherlands until it apologises over a diplomatic row, citing Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Speaking to reporters in France ahead of a public appearance in the northeastern city of Metz, Cavusoglu said Turkey was waiting to see whether European countries would voice criticism of the "fascist act" by the Netherlands.
It is also reported that around 100 people marched in Istanbul Saturday afternoon to protest the Dutch decision, with demonstrators placing a black wreath in front of the Dutch Consulate amid a heavy police presence. The protests continues on Sunday, with the protesters raised the Turkish flag in place of the Dutch flag in the Dutch consulate building in Istanbul.
It should be mentioned that the dispute = comes just days before the Netherlands goes to the polls next Wednesday 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.