Dutch govt urges travellers to be alert in Turkey following diplomatic tensions

Netherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte

The Dutch Foreign Ministry on Monday urged nationals travelling to Turkey to be alert and avoid gatherings and crowded places following an escalation of diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

“Since March 11, 2017, there are diplomatic tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands.

“Especially on social media are highly critical statements made about the Netherlands and its inhabitants.

“The Turkish prime minister declares that it has no influence on Dutch visitors. Be alert across Turkey, avoiding gatherings and crowded places,” the ministry warned.

The ministry also told Dutch nationals to stay alert to increased risk of terrorist attacks in the whole country of Turkey.

The tensions between the Netherlands and Turkey rose on Saturday after a convoy of Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Kaya Sayan was halted for hours close to the Turkish General Consulate in Rotterdam.

On Sunday, she was taken back to Germany under Dutch police escort.

Ms. Kaya wanted to visit the Turkish consulate to speak at a rally for a “yes” vote in the forthcoming constitutional referendum in Turkey.

Earlier on Saturday, the diplomatic row came to a high when the Dutch Government withdrew the landing rights for the plane of Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who had the same plan.

The Turkish Government planned to campaign in the Netherlands, as in other European countries to urge Dutch citizens with Turkish nationality to vote for a stronger position for President Recep Erdogan.

The Dutch Government objected the campaign by Turkish officials, citing security and public order reasons.

The Turkish diplomatic service reacted on Twitter saying “racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks in the Netherlands jeopardise the European democracy,’’ while Mr. Erdogan compared the Dutch with “fascists and Nazis”.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the remarks by Erdogan were “unacceptable’’ and what the Turkish family minister has done was “irresponsible.”

(Xinhua/NAN)

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