Turkish FM calls Netherlands’ decision to cancel flight permit ‘scandal’
Dutch police block the road infront of the residence of the Turkish consul general to Rotterdam on March 11. / AA PhotoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has called the Netherlands’ decision to cancel a flight permit for his airplane in order for him to attend a meeting with Turkish citizens in Rotterdam on March 11, a “scandal.”
“It is a scandal from every aspect and it is not acceptable. It does not fit into diplomatic practice. This is the most extreme point in diplomacy,” said Çavuşoğlu on March 11.
Çavuşoğlu was scheduled to fly to the Netherlands’ Rotterdam on March 11, to attend a meeting with Turkish citizens before a referendum in Turkey on April 16, during which a package of constitutional amendments will be voted upon.
But the flight clearance for his airplane to land in the country was canceled just hours before his flight on grounds of "security" and "public safety," Dutch Foreign Ministry announced in a statement on March 11.
Upon this act, the Netherlands’ charge d’affaires to Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on March 11, state-run Anadolu Agency said.
“It is totally unacceptable that a foreign minister’s flight clearance, which was given in a written format, was also canceled in a written format,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that there would “of course be a response.”
Earlier in the day Çavuşoğlu said that if the Netherlands canceled permit for his flight, Turkey would impose sanctions.
Turkey’s “sanctions threat had made search for reasonable solution impossible," the Dutch statement read, according to Reuters.
Road in front of Turkish consulate in Rotterdam closed
Dutch police officers blocked the road in front of the residence of the Turkish consul general to Rotterdam on March 11 shortly after Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya said she would travel to Rotterdam by car from Germany, where she was holding meetings with Turkish citizens.
Police blocked around one kilometer of the road towards both sides in front of the residence not only to traffic but also to pedestrian passage.
While the police did not give any reason as to why the road was blocked, they also did not provide any detail when it would be reopened, an Anadolu Agency reporter told CNNTürk live on March 11.
In a statement, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Rotterdam election coordination center said that Çavuşoğlu’s event in Rotterdam was canceled after the Netherlands' halt to Çavuşoğlu's flight permit.