Turkish foreign minister says going to Rotterdam despite public rally ban

FILE PHOTO : Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would visit the Dutch city of Rotterdam on Saturday despite an official ban on him addressing a Turkish rally backing the granting of new powers to President Tayyip Erdogan.

The ban was the latest of a series imposed by European cities on Turkish leaders that have infuriated Ankara.

Cavusoglu, speaking in an interview on CNN Turk television, said if the Netherlands refused him permission to fly to Rotterdam, Turkey would respond with harsh economic and political sanctions.

But Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, announcing the ban on a public appearance late on Friday, said there was no question of him being excluded from the Netherlands.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Witing by Ralph Boulton; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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