Major diplomatic row erupts between Turkey and the Netherlands

Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, said the two governments had been negotiating to limit the rally's risks to safety and public order, but that Mr Cavusoglu had threatened to retaliate if he was not allowed in.

The dispute escalated into a diplomatic incident March 11, when police prevented Turkey's family minister from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

Later on Saturday, Turkish authorities closed off Dutch diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul, while the Dutch ambassador, who is on leave overseas, was requested "not return for a while".

"The Dutch government with the obstructions it created has tried to take hostage almost half-a-million of our citizens and to deny their most fundamental democratic rights", the Turkish government said in a statement.

"We are in Holland here, not in Turkey, and a Turkish minister has no room here to lobby for somebody like Erdogan, who is a mere dictator", Wilders said.

Cavusoglu said on Saturday he would fly to the Netherlands despite the rally being cancelled.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said late Saturday that Ankara would respond ten times stronger to the Dutch government's decision to prevent Turkish minister from entering the country.

Erdogan said his country would take similar measures to reply on the Dutch ban. He said Turkey had crossed a diplomatic line.

Hours later, after arriving back in Istanbul, where she was welcomed by a flag-waving crowd Sunday, Kaya told reporters, "We were subjected to rude and tough treatment".

The ban infuriated Turkey and prompted Mr Erdogan to brand the Netherlands "Nazi remnants, fascists" following the decision. "Such a treatment against a woman minister can not be accepted".

About 1,000 people waving Turkish flags gathered on the street leading to the consulate, an AFP photographer saw, as tensions rocketed over rallies overseas to help Ankara gain backing for an April referendum vote.

Cavusoglu, meanwhile, has flown to France where he was set to address a rally in the eastern city of Metz on Sunday.

He said the government was acting more anti-immigrants and anti-Muslims than Dutch candidate Geert Wilders.

Protests were held on Sunday outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, where the Netherlands' flag was replaced with a Turkish one, which was later removed, BBC reported.

Cavusoglu was barred from landing in the Netherlands because of growing opposition to Turkey's referendum campaigning throughout the European Union.

Tweeting out a picture of a woman in headscarf taking a selfie amid a sea of Turkish flags outside the consulate in Amsterdam, he wrote: "Decades of open borders, mass immigration, no integration, and double nationality and this is the result".

"The biggest problem in this case is that Turkey is talking about Turkish citizens who they want to talk to", Rutte said.

"Those who treat my foreign minister, my economy minister, our legislator friends in a shameless way, will pay the price".

There are about 400,000 people with a Turkish background living in the Netherlands, and many are entitled to vote in Turkey.

  • Leroy Wright