Turkey's Erdogan Calls Dutch `Fascists' After Minister Grounded

The Dutch government on Saturday withdrew landing permission for the Turkish foreign minister's aircraft, drawing the ire of the Turkish president and escalating a diplomatic dispute between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over campaigning for a Turkish referendum on constitutional reform.

The Dutch move comes after Germany and other European nations saw efforts to block other such campaign events, which are aimed at gathering support for a Turkish referendum which would boost Erdogan's powers.

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Dutch government had been searching for an "acceptable solution" for Cavusoglu's campaign, but Turkey's threat of sanctions made that impossible.

Turkey has summoned the Dutch charge d'affairs to its foreign ministry as the row between the two countries intensified, the Associated Press reports, citing NTV.

Bans on similar meetings have been imposed in Germany and Austria also barred Turkish officials from holding referendum rallies.

The Dutch government said it did not want Turkish politicians campaigning among Turkish emigres in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government said it had asked Mr Cavusoglu to consider moving the rally to a small, more private setting.

"Ban our foreign minister from flying however much you like, but from now on, let's see how your flights will land in Turkey", he added.

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Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was in Germany for separate meetings when she made a decision to head to the Netherlands by land, but was told by border officials to return to Germany, the broadcaster said.

Erdogan has used last year's coup as one of the reasons why he needs the new powers.

That decision led Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to describe the Netherlands as "fascist" and "the remnants of Nazism" during a meeting in Istanbul on Saturday afternoon.

Rutte said Turkey's call for a large rally in Rotterdam had derailed discussions about whether Cavusoglu could enter the country.

The Turkish referendum on the constitutional amendment is scheduled for April 16.

"I say it to all Turks in the Netherlands who agree with Erdogan: GO back to Turkey and NEVER come back".

The ban drew strong criticism from the Turkish government.

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