Global Media

Dutch PM Rutte: Erdogan's Nazi remarks "way out of line"

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte right and right-wing populist leader Geert Wilders talk prior to a national televised debate the first head-to-head meeting of the two political party leaders since the start of the election campaign at Erasmus Univers

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe to help secure victory next month in a referendum that would give his office sweeping powers.

"They don't know diplomacy or politics. They are Nazi remnants, they are fascists", Erdogan said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Earlier this week, Erdogan angered German Chancellor Angela Merkel by making similar remarks about Nazism in her country.

"I said Nazism is dead".

"We've been here for about four hours".

The referendum on the proposed changes in the constitution will grant broad new powers under an executive presidential system to the Turkish President.

Turkish officials have been campaigning in various European cities before the April 16 referendum.

But the authorities in several countries have blocked their plans.

Cavusoglu was to fly to Rotterdam on Saturday after he was barred from addressing a Turkish rally there.

Instead, Turkey's Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya reportedly made the journey overland from the German city of Dusseldorf to Rotterdam, Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said.

European Parliament Vice-President Alexander Graff Lambsdorff demanded a ban on Turkish ministers campaigning in the EU.

But on any future rallies, she said: "We continue to view such appearances by Turkish government representatives as possible as long as they are duly announced in a timely manner, and in an open way".

The second note complained about the "inhumane and derogatory" treatment of supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who had gathered outside Turkey's Consulate in Rotterdam.

It was the third time the Dutch envoy was summoned since Saturday over the row.

Talks between both the countries on the issue broke down when Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu threatened Netherlands with sanctions on national television, Dutch minister Koenders said.

In Rotterdam, police said they arrested 12 protesters as a demonstration outside the Turkish consulate descended into rioting.

"But these gatherings may not contribute to tensions in our society and everyone who wants to hold a gathering is obliged to follow instructions of those in authority so that public order and safety can be guaranteed", Rutte added.

Meanwhile, the Dutch deputy prime minister, Lodewijk Asscher, said that "to be called Nazis by a regime which is walking backwards in regards to human rights is just disgusting".

Mr Rutte may be playing to the gallery ahead of Wednesday's elections. Worldwide campaigning to date has also seen the cancellation of planned rallies in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria. "It quite simply will not do", Berth told Politiken. It's a right-wing populist message. "We do not think that there is the need for any mediators here". Ankara's minister for EU Affairs, Omer Celik, said sanctions were likely. He has called for a collective European Union response to prevent individual countries coming under pressure from Turkey. "You can not prevent people traveling from one country to another".

Wilders later tweeted that Turkish people "have no business" in the Netherlands.