Dutch mayor gives go ahead to pro-Turkish government rally amid row
THE HAGUE - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoRotterdam's mayor gave his authorization on March 16 for a pro-Turkish protest against the Dutch police's handling of a violent demonstration in the port city on March 11.
The move came in the midst of an increasingly vitriolic dispute between Ankara and the EU after several countries including The Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from attending campaign rallies to support the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments.
Dutch police on March 11 used dogs, horses and a water cannon against Turkish protesters in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has given his approval for a new demonstration at 1600 GMT on March 17 starting outside Rotterdam's central station.
"The demonstration has been asked for to defend the rights of Turks," said his spokesman Lennart de Jong.
Both Germany and The Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from staging rallies to court the vote of expatriate Turks in the referendum.
Ankara was especially angered by The Netherlands which prevented Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s plane from landing and expelled Family Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya.