TURKEY has banned diplomatic flights from the Netherlands as the fraught relationship between the two countries gets even worse.
The move is a retaliation for the Netherlands’ refusal to let Turkey’s foreign minister address a political rally in Rotterdam last Saturday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants the 5million Turks living in western Europe to take part in a referendum on turning the country’s parliamentary system into a presidential one – seen by Erdogan critics as an attempted power grab.
Some European countries have refused to let Turkish referendum rallies take place on their soil amid concerns over security.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was told he was notallowed to enter the Netherlands at the weekend – sparking violent protests outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
The Dutch government said it considered the visit undesirable and “the Netherlands could not cooperate in the public political campaigning of Turkish ministers in the Netherlands”.
But Turkey has now retaliated by barring diplomatic flights from the Netherlands.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told a news conference: “We are doing exactly what they did to us.
“We are not allowing planes carrying Dutch diplomats or envoys from landing in Turkey or using our airspace.
“Those creating this crisis are responsible for fixing it.”
President Erdogan previously accused the Dutch government of acting like “Nazi remnants” for barring his ministers from addressing Turks to drum up votes.