President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed the Netherlands on Saturday after the country revoked the landing permission of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's plane in a bid to prevent the minister from meeting with the Turkish citizens in the Netherlands within the framework of Turkey's constitutional amendment referendum scheduled on April 16.
Speaking at a rally in Istanbul's Bağcılar district, Erdoğan said that the Netherlands vainly tries to influence the outcome of Turkey's constitutional referendum by attempting to hinder Çavuşoğlu from gathering with Turkish citizens living in the country, and who are eligible to vote in Turkish elections.
''Our citizens living over there will give the Netherlands the best answer in the upcoming referendum,'' Erdoğan said, referring to the Dutch authorities' obvious attempts to influence the outcome of the referendum in favor of the ''No'' vote.
''From now on, let's see how Dutch diplomatic planes will land on Turkish soil?'' Erdoğan said, hinting that Turkey will proceed to retaliatory bans following Saturday's incident.
Erdoğan noted that nobody could attempt to force the Turkish nation into submission, referring to how the nation foiled a coup attempt on July 15, by taking to the streets and standing against pro-coup tanks and soldiers.
The Turkish president reiterated that the World War II-era Nazi mentality is re-emerging in parts of Europe with practices aiming to bar Turkish ministers from meeting Turkish citizens, while also noting that the same countries are giving support to terrorist groups. Last week, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu's planned rally in Rotterdam was barred by Dutch officials, after Germany also barred Turkish ministers from meeting Turkish citizens in various German cities and towns.
Later Saturday, Turkish foreign ministry summoned Netherlands' charge d'affaires to Ankara over the landing ban amid escalating diplomatic row.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) had also held a short demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy at the Hague on March 7.
Despite all attempts to prevent him from meeting Turks in the Netherlands, Çavuşoğlu had vowed earlier Saturday to go to the Netherlands. Later on the same day, Dutch officials revoked his plane's landing permission on the Dutch soil citing excuses such as security concerns.
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