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Turkish minister slams 'ugly treatment' by Dutch authorities

Kaya was given a warm welcome by supporters when she returned to Turkey [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 12 March, 2017

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Turkey's Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands, leading to a sharp response from Ankara.

Turkey's family minister has slammed the Netherlands for the "ugly" treatment she experienced during a visit to the country as anti-Dutch protests are held in the country.

Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya arrived in Istanbul on Sunday after Dutch police expelled her from the Netherlands.

Kaya was furious by her treatment in the Netherlands, as anti-Dutch protests were held in Turkey.

"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.

"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.

The minister was in the Netherlands to address a pro-Ankara rally in Rotterdam, when she was expelled from the country.

She and other ministers have visited European countries where they are looking to rally the Turkish diaspora to support to government's plans for a new constutition.

A referendum on changes that would grant President Tayyip Recep Erdogan more powers will be held in April, and Ankara is keen to win the support of hundreds of thousands of Turkish-Europeans who entitled to vote.

Pro-Ankara rallies in European cities have sparked anger in the Netherlands, Austria and Germany, where they feel the highly-charged environment could lead to violence.

Kaya believes the response from the Netherlands authorities are a major breech of diplomatic protocol.

"We were stopped 30 metres 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."

On Sunday, The Hague refused to allow Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's plane to land as he planned to address another pro-Ankara rally.

Erdogan has responded to moves by calling the Netherlands "Nazi remnants".

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