Minister Kaya says dared to die in Netherlands, returned upon Erdoğan’s call

Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya.

Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya who was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam, has said she would not leave and even die there if Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had not told her to return back.

Kaya was going to deliver a campaign speech to Turkish expats in Rotterdam for an upcoming referendum in Turkey although her program was previously cancelled by the Dutch authorities.

Speaking  to a group of Turks in New York on Monday where she traveled as part of her party’s referendum campaign, Kaya said: “If our esteemed president did not call me from Ankara and say, ‘you can return now,’ I would die there and would not leave there. You can be sure about this. Sometimes, the state, the nation come before all.”

The minister, who was declared persona non grata and expelled at the German border, said she was made to wait next to a car for seven hours in Rotterdam.


On the other hand, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reacted to the Dutch government during an interview with CNN on Monday for not allowing him to enter the Netherlands for a referendum rally, saying, “I am not a terrorist.”

Speaking during an interview with CNN’s “Connect the World,” Çavuşoğlu demanded answers from The Hague about preventing him from visiting the Netherlands to campaign for a Turkish referendum on April 16 that will change the country’s system of governance into an executive presidency.

“Why this time? Am I a terrorist? Are the Turks living in this country terrorists?” he asked.

Describing the Dutch government’s excuse of security reasons for not allowing him to visit the Netherlands as “nonsense,” he said, “Why were there no security issues for earlier visits to the Netherlands during earlier elections?”

Çavuşoğlu said the present Dutch government under the leadership of Prime Minister Mark Rutte has rhetoric and policies similar to those of the fascist Geert Wilders and added, “No matter what the results of the [Dutch] elections are on Wednesday, Wilders’ supporters will be happy.”

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

The crisis reached new heights when Turkish Minister Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night 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.

Turkey’s relations with Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have been strained over these countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to hold rallies there ahead of the public referendum in Turkey in April.

Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved.

Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have canceled scheduled events to be participated in by Turkish ministers, usually out of security concerns. A large number of Turkish citizens or people of Turkish origin live in these countries, and Turkish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in elections and referenda. (SCF with March 14, 2017


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