Turkey says the Netherlands will 'pay the price' for denying entry to ministers, as Erdogan claims 'Nazism is alive in the west'

Anna Schaverien
A man waves a Turkish flag in front of the Dutch Consulate where protesters have briefly replaced the Netherlands' national flag with a Turkish one - AFP or licensors

Turkey's president has said the Netherlands will 'pay the price' in a growing diplomatic row after two Turkish ministers were prevented from campaigning in Rotterdam.

"They will certainly pay the price, and also learn what diplomacy is. We will teach them international diplomacy," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. 

It comes as Denmark said it would consider postponing a visit from Turkey's prime minister due to the rapidly growing dispute, while France's foreign ministry called for a de-escalation of tensions between the two sparring countries. 

The Dutch flag above its consulate in Istanbul was replaced with the Turkish flag by a protester (below) - Credit: Reuters

The row began after the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was prevented from flying into Rotterdam on Saturday to attend a rally and family minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was denied entry to the Turkish embassy and escorted back to the border with Germany.

Hundreds of pro-Turkey protesters gathered in the Dutch city following the move and police used batons and a water cannon on Sunday to disperse the crowd, making 12 arrests.  

Turkish flag - Credit: EPA

One protester managed to climb onto the roof of the Dutch consulate in Istanbul and replace the Netherlands' flag with the Turkish one.

Turkey’s family minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was expelled from The Netherlands - Credit: EPA

Mr Erdogan earlier labelled the Dutch government "Nazi remnants, they are fascists.”

He added: "I said 'I thought Nazism was over,' but I was wrong. In fact, Nazism is alive in the West."

To bolster support for an April 16 referendum that would expand the powers of Turkey's president, Turkish cabinet ministers have been scheduling campaign trips to several European countries with sizable populations of Turkish expatriates.

Mark Rutte, The Netherlands’ Prime Minister responded to Mr Erdogan’s comment, calling it a “crazy remark”.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Dutch "Nazi remnants" and "fascists"  - Credit: AP

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Sunday that the country would retaliate in the “harshest ways” to The Netherlands' "unacceptable behaviour".

The Turkish government also said the Dutch ambassador should not return to Turkey for some time. 

The diplomatic dispute has erupted shortly before the Dutch national election, which takes place on March 15. 

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