Erdoğan’s fury against the Netherlands stems from his frustration over ‘historic rally’

Finally, the reason for  Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s unending fury against the Netherlands has been understood. According to a report in a Dutch newspaper, Erdoğan wanted to visit the Netherlands for a stadium-sized campaign event for a referendum that would give him more power.

The Telegraaf daily reported that some pro-Erdoğan Turkish organizations tried to rent the Amsterdam ArenA, the Ziggo Dome or the Gelder Dome for the event, but all refused. According to the newspaper, Erdoğan was only willing to visit the Netherlands if he could arrange a meeting attended by tens of thousands of his supporters. He wanted it to be a “historic” meeting.

But as no suitable location could be found, his visit was canceled. Instead it was decided to send Turkish Ministers to campaign for the referendum. The Netherlands refusal to allow these Ministers access to the country to campaign started an ongoing diplomatic row between the two countries.

The Amsterdam ArenA, the Gelderdome and Ziggo Dome all confirmed to the newspaper that they received multiple applications from Turkish organizations in late February.

A crisis erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands when The Hague canceled the flight clearance for Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s airplane shortly after Çavuşoğlu warned that Turkey would impose “harsh sanctions” on Holland if it were to take such a step.

The crisis reached new heights when Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands on after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam to make a campaign speech.

President Erdoğan denounced the Netherlands as “Nazi remnants and fascists” after the Dutch government withdrew permission for Çavuşoğlu’s plane to land on Saturday.

Turkey has issued two diplomatic notes to the Netherlands and also demanded a written apology since the crisis erupted, while Turkish government officials are talking about imposing sanctions on the country.

Germany, France, and Austria expressed their support for the Netherlands in this matter while the presidents of the European Union and European Commission also spoke out against Turkey which will hold a referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will give immense powers to president Erdoğan.

Turkey’s relations with Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have been strained over these countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to hold rallies. Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved.

March 23, 2017




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