The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands issued a travel warning advising caution to citizens traveling to Turkey amid heightened tensions following a diplomatic dispute. The ministry cited the diplomatic tensions between the countries for the decision. “Especially on social media there are highly critical statements made about the Netherlands and its inhabitants,” the ministry said in a statement. “The Turkish prime minister declares that it has no influence on Dutch visitors. Be alert across Turkey, avoiding gatherings and crowded places. Follow the news of the embassy and the consulate general.”
The recent diplomatic spat stems from the government of the Netherlands preventing Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight from landing in Rotterdam where he was scheduled to speak at a rally in favor of a “Yes” vote on a referendum on constitutional changes that would give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power. The Dutch government said Cavusoglu’s permissions were revoked due to “risks to public order and security” ahead of the Netherlands’ general election on Wednesday. Erdogan described the move as an example of “fascist practices” and referred to the Dutch government as “Nazi remnants.” The diplomatic incident led to protests in Netherlands and Turkey by Turkish citizens.
European Union leaders urged for calm to prevent further escalation of tensions, calling on “Turkey to refrain from excessive statements and actions that risk further exacerbating the situation.” “Following the tensions of these last days between Turkey and some EU Member States, it is essential to avoid further escalation and find ways to calm down the situation,” the EU’s European External Action Service said in a statement. “Decisions with regard to the holding of meetings and rallies in Member States are a matter for the Member State concerned.”