Tensions Between Turkey and Holland
Only days before a general election in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decided to take, not his campaign, but a referendum campaign to the people of Turkish origin living abroad.
A “Yes” to this referendum would change the Turkish constitution and expand the president’s power. The goal of the rallies would be to incite some of the 400,000 people of Turkish origin that live in Holland to vote “Yes”.
Germany, Austria, and most recently, Holland all blocked the country’s rallies because of security concerns.
The relationships between Turkish and Dutch diplomats have been particularly strained since two Turkish ministers, one of them being Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, were directly prevented from holding rallies in Rotterdam.
In order to get around the ban, Minister Cavusoglu took to Facebook and announced that the meeting would be moved to the private residence of the Turkish consul in Rotterdam. According to Al Jaseera, the invitation to the gathering asked visitors not to use their car horns or wave Turkish flags.
Holding political rallies for another country’s domestic policies is illegal in Holland. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reacted by denying Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu landing rights.
This, along with Germany’s refusal to hold rallies, ignited President Erdogan’s comment in an Istanbul rally: “These Nazi remnants, they are fascists”. Dutch Prime Minister Rutte says that, “if the Turks choose to escalate, we will have to react, but we will do everything we can to de-escalate”(Al Jaseera).
The result of the referendum will be known shortly after April 16th.