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Turkey warns Netherlands of 'severe sanctions'

12 March 2017

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has branded the Dutch as "Nazi remnants" and "fascists" after permission for his Foreign Minister's plane to land in the Netherlands was withdrawn.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he wants a powerful executive presidency to guarantee stability and prevent a return to the fragile coalitions of previous decades.

The foreign minister had planned to hold a Turkish expat rally in the run up to April's constitutional referendum.

Cavusoglu's flight to Rotterdam was denied Dutch landing permission earlier in the day.

Such nationalist or anti-Muslim politicians as Geert Wilders in Netherlands have called for Turkish politicians to be barred from campaigning in their countries - adding to the pressure on European leaders to act.

Rutte said that while the Netherlands and Turkey could search for "an acceptable solution", Turkey was not respecting the rules relating to public gatherings.

"Ban our foreign minister from flying however much you like, but from now on, let's see how your flights will land in Turkey", he said.

Kaya said the Dutch police told her that as a Turkish minister, she was forbidden from entering the consulate building and they were allowed only 30 meters away from the building.

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In the latest twist in the row, Cavusoglu angered the Dutch by threatening "severe sanctions" if he were banned from traveling to the Rotterdam rally.

The Dutch government cited public order and security concerns in withdrawing landing rights for Mr Cavusoglu's flight.

According to Politico, there are 1.5 million people eligible to vote in Turkey's referendum now living in Germany.

The intense diplomatic arguments highlighted the extraordinary heat generated by an upcoming referendum in Turkey that would transform its system of government and could vastly expand Erdogan's power.

Erdogan has used last year's coup as one of the reasons why he needs the new powers.

"We will not participate in a visit by a Turkish government official who wants to conduct a political campaign for a referendum", Koenders said.

Ahead of Saturday's decision, Wilders had accused the government of a weak response to Turkish plans to send ministers to the Netherlands to campaign.

Turkey warns Netherlands of 'severe sanctions'