Amnesty International mocks Turkish FM's 'undesirable' visit to Netherlands

"I can go to any country with my passport, both as a diplomat and within the frame of the freedom of travel", he said.

Erdogan showed little willingness to solve the dispute when he spoke at an Istanbul rally Sunday.

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

The crisis with the Netherlands is the most serious yet as tensions spiral between Turkey and its European Union allies over the desire of top Turkish officials to hold rallies overseas ahead of the April 16 referendum on a new constitution that would give Erdogan greater powers.

This the start of promised retaliation after the turning away of Turkish ministers from addressing political rallies in the Netherlands.

The protesters had gathered after Turkey's Family Minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, was prevented by police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. Some threw bottles and stones and several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons, a Reuters witness said. Officers carried out charges on horseback.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Netherlands on Sunday that there is "a price to pay" after two of its ministers were barred from campaigning in Rotterdam.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Dutch embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul. Demonstrations were taking place outside Dutch consulates, Anadolu Agency reports.

Çavuşoğlu was planning to attend a rally in Rotterdam on March 11 in order to persuade Turkish expatriates in the Netherlands about a referendum on April 16 that will expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and switch Turkey to an executive presidency.

Earlier on Saturday, in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Turk, Mr Cavusoglu said: "If the Netherlands cancels my flight permit, our sanctions to the Netherlands would be heavy".

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was banned from landing in the country next month for a rally, said that he is "waiting to see whether Europe will condemn the fascist action of Holland".

But Rutte said his government "will keep working to de-escalate where we can".

"The West who questioned the state of emergency we had declared following the July 15 coup attempt, that targeted our country's future and integrity, have themselves declared a state of emergency in one night for a woman minister's meeting with her citizens in the consulate building which is counted as their territory", said Kaya. This country, as the Mayor of Rotterdam pointed out yesterday, was bombed during the second World War by the Nazis.

Erdogan repeated his accusations that the Dutch response to the Turkish visits was "Nazism, fascism".

In France, Cavusoglu was allowed to hold a rally in Metz but the French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron condemned the "unacceptable comments" by the Turkish government.

  • Leroy Wright