President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that the Netherlands will pay the price for preventing Turkish ministers from giving campaign speeches in Rotterdam and the dispersal of protesters by Dutch police on Saturday.
“This cannot be left without a response. Those who treat me, my minister, my deputies with disrespect will pay the price for their actions. Those who attack my citizens with horses and dogs will pay the price,” Erdoğan vowed in a speech in İstanbul televised live on Sunday.
He argued that the prevention of political rallies hosted by Turkish ministers in Europe to campaign for expanding the powers of the president in Turkey in an April 16 referendum is result of “Islamophobia” and the revival of Nazism.
“Turks won’t leave those lands. They will pay the price in every possible way. They will learn what diplomacy is, what international diplomacy is,” Erdoğan said, targeting the Netherlands.
Erdoğan also claimed that the Netherlands was sacrificing Turkish-Dutch relations for the national elections to be held on Wednesday and using the crisis as a domestic political tool.
Erdoğan is criticized at home and abroad for carrying Turkey’s domestic political issues to Europe as millions of Turks living abroad are eligible to vote in Turkey’s elections.
“We have not yet done what is supposed to be done,” Erdoğan said as he urged Turkish citizens in the Netherlands to vote in favor of the executive presidency in Turkey which will grant him even wider powers.
On Saturday night, the Turkish minister of family and social policy was expelled from the Netherlands when she entered the country after The Hague decided to cancel flight clearance for Turkish ministers’ aircraft.
Before the Netherlands’ decision, the Turkish foreign minister had threatened the Dutch with sanctions in the event of flight cancellations.