Turkey’s family affairs minister has said her convoy was blocked by Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
“We were stopped at the Consulate General of Rotterdam 30 meters away and were not allowed to enter,” Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya wrote on Twitter, adding that by denying her access to the building “Netherlands is violating all international laws, conventions and human rights.”
NOS posted footage purportedly showing the minister, surrounded by police after she stepped out of her car.
Anadolu reports that the Dutch police also blocked its correspondents along with reporters from Turkey’s TRT channel, who were with the minister to cover her visit.
Pro-Turkish demonstrators have gathered outside the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam to protest the actions of the Dutch authorities. According to AP, some 100 people took to the streets to join the demonstration, while some eyewitnesses put their number at 500.
The demonstrators were waving Turkish national flags and standing near the consulate entrance. As the crowd grew, the Dutch police took additional security measures at the scene. The police officers put up railings to keep anyone from getting too close and deployed additional forces to the consulate, according to AP.
Earlier there were reports that the minister was arrested by they were later dismissed.
Channels CNN Turk and NTV earlier reported that the convoy of Turkey’s family minister was stopped at the Netherlands border.
The incident involving the Turkish family minister comes just hours after Dutch authorities revoked authorization for the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight, hours after he had warned that Turkey would retaliate if his visit was canceled.
Earlier, Cavusoglu insisted that he would go ahead with his visit to Rotterdam even if local Dutch authorities did not agree to his taking part in a rally promoting a change in Turkey’s constitution.
Cavusoglu intended to campaign at the rally to drum up votes in favor of an April referendum that would give the Turkish president new powers, but Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, banned the Turkish official from speaking in public in the city late Friday.
Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of Turkey’s ultranationalist MHP party, Semih Yalçın, has claimed the Turks were ready to stage a protest at the airport the Turkish Foreign Minister was supposed to land at.
“Our friends have now started a sit-in at the airport where the Foreign Ministry was planning to land,” Yalçın said, adding that the aim is to demonstrate a “reaction to Europe.”
Yalçın has also accused the European country of a “medieval mentality.”