The escalating dispute between NATO allies Turkey and the Netherlands hit a new low Sunday, with a Turkish minister escorted out of the country less than a day after Turkey’s foreign minister was denied entry, prompting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to call the Dutch “Nazi remnants.” The diplomatic clash was over plans by Turkish government officials to campaign in the Netherlands for a referendum back home. Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya had arrived in the country from Germany but was prevented from entering Turkey’s diplomatic compound in Rotterdam, setting up a standoff with armed police. She was later sent under escort back to Germany. As she was approaching the German border, Kaya wrote that “the whole world must take action against this fascist practice! Such a treatment against a woman minister cannot be accepted.”
You can stop our foreign minister’s plane all you want, let’s see how your (diplomatic) planes will come to Turkey from now on.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The Dutch were equally angry and Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Erdogan’s Nazi comment “a crazy remark,” while Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said the Turkish consul general was guilty of a “scandalous deception” after he allegedly denied that the minister was coming despite government warnings to stay away. “He lied to us and didn’t tell the truth,” the mayor said. “The deception worsened when they drove in different columns to Rotterdam” to try to fool Dutch authorities. Hundreds of pro-Turkey protesters scuffled with police into the night in Rotterdam. The diplomatic clash with Kaya came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was barred from landing in the Netherlands on Saturday and Turkish officials closed off the Dutch Embassy and called its ambassador no longer welcome.