Turkish-Dutch conflict: Ankara vows to retaliate

Turkish-Dutch conflict: Ankara vows to retaliate

The Dutch government's move barring his plane from landing in the Netherlands will not go unanswered and will have consequences, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul.

Cavusoglu said the decision by the Netherlands was a "scandal" and unacceptable in every way, and the government was trying to prevent Turkish officials from meeting voters in Europe. "We will give them the response they deserve," he said, Daily Sabah reports.

The minister was due to visit Rotterdam on Saturday to campaign for a referendum next month on constitutional reforms in Turkey. The Dutch government said that it withdrew the permission because of "security concerns."

"So they cancelled it due to security concerns, what, so is the minister a terrorist?" he said. He said the ban on his flight pleased far-right Dutch politicians such as Geert Wilders. "Because this is what Wilders wanted. If you had seen Wilder's posts on social media, he was very pleased.

"Well then, what is the difference between the current Dutch government and Wilders? There is no difference. It is the same mindset, same fascism," the minister said.

Pointing out that they have received many supportive messages from the Netherlands, saying they don't agree with their government's racist, fascist policies, Cavusoglu said that Dutch premier Mark Rutte's remarks were shameful and "he is sharing the same fascistic mentality as Wilders."

In a statement issued early on Sunday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey had told Dutch authorities it would retaliate in the "harshest ways" and "respond in kind to this unacceptable behavior".

Turkey's foreign ministry said it did not want the Dutch ambassador to Ankara to return from leave "for some time". Turkish authorities sealed off the Dutch embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul in apparent retaliation and hundreds gathered there for protests at the Dutch action, Reuters agency writes.