Turkish referendum campaign in Europe fires up tensions
Istanbul (AFP) – Turkey’s family minister flew home to Istanbul on Sunday after Dutch authorities expelled her for seeking to woo the vote of expatriate Turks for a key referendum at home.
A crowd waving Turkish flags greeted Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya at the airport, where she said she and her entourage were subjected to “rude and tough treatment”.
Her expulsion came after Dutch authorities barred Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the Netherlands, where he, too, had planned to campaign for the April referendum that would boost the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The move fuelled a fierce row that spilled over into violence in the port of Rotterdam where Cavusoglu was to speak.
After several hours of calm demonstrations, police moved in early Sunday to disperse over 1,000 people gathered near the Turkish consulate, charging the crowd on horseback and using dogs to regain control.
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