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Netherlands refuses permission for planned Turkey FM flight

The Dutch government on Saturday refused permission for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s plane to travel to the Netherlands for a planned campaign rally in the city of Rotterdam.

“The Turkish authorities have publicly threatened sanctions. That makes it impossible to reach a reasonable solution,” the Dutch government said in a statement.

“For that reason the Netherlands has let it be known it will withdraw permission to land” the minister’s plane, it added.

Turkish ministers have been heading to Europe to whip up support for a “yes” vote among millions of Turkey’s voters who live abroad ahead of the April 16 referendum on whether to boost President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

According to the Turkish foreign ministry, Cavusoglu was still in Istanbul when the Dutch authorities announced they would refuse his plane permission to land.

“The Netherlands regrets the current events and remains in favour of a dialogue with Turkey,” the government said in a statement.

The Netherlands is home to 400,000 people of Turkish origin.

“The Dutch government has no objection against the gatherings in our country to inform” people about the Turkish referendum.

“But these rallies will not be allowed to cause tensions in our society and those who want to organise a rally must abide by the instructions of the relevant authorities in order to guarantee public order and security.”


© Agence France-Presse