Turkey minister lashes out at 'ugly' Dutch treatment

AFP , Sunday 12 Mar 2017

Turkey's Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was back in Istanbul on Sunday after being expelled from the Netherlands and escorted back to Germany by Dutch police, condemning The Hague's "ugly" treatment.

"We were subjected to rude and tough treatment... Treating a female minister this way is very ugly," Kaya told reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, where she was welcomed by a crowd waving Turkish flags.

"As a minister holding a diplomatic passport, I don't have to get permission to come together with our citizens at our consulate, which is considered Turkish territory," said Kaya, who wears the Islamic headscarf.

The minister was expelled after being prevented from addressing a rally in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.

The Dutch government said it had told Turkey it could not compromise on public order and security.

"We were stopped 30 metres (yards) from the consulate building and were not allowed to access it. And our chief consul was not allowed to exit the consulate building to meet us... We were held for hours," Kaya said.

"We were subjected to inhumane, immoral treatment. We had a bitter night in Holland."

The Netherlands is home to some 400,000 people of Turkish origin, and Ankara is keen to harness votes of the diaspora in Europe ahead of an April 16 referendum on boosting presidential powers.

Also on Sunday, The Hague refused to allow Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's plane to land ahead of a planned rally, with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likening the ban to Nazism.

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