President Erdogan says Netherlands will 'pay the price' for expelling minister

'I have said that I had thought that Nazism was over, but that I was wrong. Nazism is alive in the West'

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Sunday 12 March 2017 13:04
Pro-Turkish protesters scuffle with police in Netherlands after minister expulsion

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the Netherlands will "pay the price" for its "shameless" treatment of its family minister.

"They will certainly pay the price, and also learn what diplomacy is. We will teach them international diplomacy," Mr Erdogan said in a speech at an awards ceremony in Istanbul.

He said he appropriately accused the Dutch government of "Nazism and fascism," saying only those types of regimes would bar foreign ministers from travelling within their countries.

"I have said that I had thought that Nazism was over, but that I was wrong," he added. "Nazism is alive in the West."

The row over Ankara's political campaigning among Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands and Germany has escalated in recent days, with Mr Erdogan labelling the Netherlands a "Nazi remnant" after it prevented Turkish politicians from holding rallies.

The Dutch government first barred Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying into Rotterdam and later stopped Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate there, before escorting her back to Germany.

Dutch police used dogs sand water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters gathering outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

Several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons while others threw bottles and stones, a witness told Reuters.

Mr Erdogan is looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to help clinch victory next month in a referendum that would give the presidency sweeping new powers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will do everything possible to prevent Turkish political tensions spilling onto German soil.

Four rallies in Austria and one in Switzerland have been cancelled due to the growing dispute.

Mr Erdogan has cited domestic threats from Kurdish and Islamist militants and a July coup bid as cause to vote "yes" to his new powers.

But he has also drawn on the emotionally charged row with Europe to portray Turkey as betrayed by allies while facing wars on its southern borders.

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