|Turkey threatens severe retaliation against the Netherlands as diplomatic crisis escalates|
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemns 'bizarre, irresponsible and unacceptable' behaviour
Riot police using mounted charges and water cannons to disperse protestors in Rotterdam; a Turkish minister expelled after trying to enter her country’s consulate in the city; Ankara expressing outrage and threatening severe retaliation. The diplomatic crisis between the Netherlands and the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has blown up so suddenly continues to escalate swiftly.
There is no sign at present of the situation defusing. In Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim reiterated that “strong countermeasures” will be taken. The homes of the Dutch ambassador and senior diplomats were sealed off in what was described as security measures.
In the Hague, the Netherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, condemned Turkey’s behaviour as “bizarre, irresponsible and unacceptable.”
The current confrontation started with the refusal of the Dutch government to allow Mevlüt Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, to come to the country in order to address a campaign rally in support of President Erdogan in Turkey’s referendum next month.
However, the Turkish family affairs minister, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, arrived unannounced, to be detained and then expelled amid recriminations and accusations.
The referendum in question is about concentrating sweeping new powers into the hands of Mr Erdogan, a process which started in the aftermath of last year’s attempted coup. The opposition is effectively hamstrung with MPs, journalists and activists among those detained.