Turkey-Holland crisis: Furious Erdogan vows Netherlands 'will pay price'

Turkish President Erdogan furiously vows Netherlands 'will pay price' after Rotterdam incidents

The diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Turkey has been escalating quickly

Monday, March 13, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed the Netherlands "will pay a price" after two incidents in Rotterdam contributed to the escalation of a massive diplomatic row.

Turkey is due to hold a referendum on a series of amendments to transform the country's political system from a parliamentary democracy into a US-style presidential system - which would pave the way for Erdogan to be president until 2029.

The Turkish leader is currently trying to reach the estimated 5.5 million Turkish citizens living abroad to secure their vote. However he has been left furious after the Netherlands first prevented Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from speaking at a rally in support of his president, then imposed a similar sanction on families' minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya - before expelling her from the country. 

In response to the incident, the Turkish President blasted the Netherlands, saying the government will "pay the price" for sacrificing "Turkish-Dutch relations" to curry favour with the public ahead of Holland's general election, which takes place this week and has given rise to fears of a surge in support for far-right figurehead Geert Wilders.

He also claimed "nazism is alive in the west" - an allegation he had previously voiced against Germany last week after several rallies were cancelled for security reasons.

Since the incident, the Dutch ambassador's home and fellow diplomats were sealed off in what was described as a "security measure."

At the Hague, the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, said Turkey’s behaviour was “bizarre, irresponsible and unacceptable", but he was still seeking a diplomatic solution.