Turkey, Europe

Turkish president slams Dutch move barring FM’s flight

'How will your country’s flights come here after not granting permission to our foreign minister?' Erdogan asks

11.03.2017
Turkish president slams Dutch move barring FM’s flight Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses public in Istanbul on March 11, 2017

By Sibel Kurtoglu

ISTANBUL

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the Dutch move canceling Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit.

Addressing an inauguration ceremony in Istanbul Saturday, Erdogan confirmed that Cavusoglu’s flight permit had been canceled.

“How will your country’s [diplomatic] flights come here now after not granting permission to our foreign minister?” Erdogan asked the Dutch authorities.

“They neither know politics nor international diplomacy… These are the remnants of Nazis, they are fascists,” he added.

Earlier, Dutch Foreign Ministry announced in a statement Saturday the Netherlands canceled Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's flight permit on grounds of "security" and "public safety".

The announcement came just hours after Cavusoglu said Turkey would impose “severe sanctions” on the Netherlands if attempts were made to cancel his planned meeting in the European country.

The foreign minister was scheduled to address the Turkish community in the Dutch city of Rotterdam later Saturday.

In remarks made during a live television interview on CNN Turk earlier, Cavusoglu said: "If the Netherlands cancels my flight, we will impose severe sanctions on them that will affect it economically and politically."

Several events planned for senior ministers from the Justice and Development (AK) Party in Germany have been canceled in recent days due to what Berlin also described as security grounds.

Around 1.5 million Turkish nationals living in Germany are eligible to vote in a referendum that would grant wide-ranging powers to Erdogan if the Yes vote wins.

The president previously also compared rally cancellations in Germany as actions reminiscent of a Nazi regime.

‘Keep the terrorists’

Erdogan warned the European countries that terrorists they are giving space to now would one day turn against them.

“Put as much as pressure as you want, keep terrorists in your country, all of these will turn against you,” he said.

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