Turkish President says Netherlands lost friend like Turkey

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Dutch Prime Minister Rutte won the elections but lost a friend like Turkey, media reports said.

“Rutte, you might have finished the elections as the first party, but you should know that you lost a friend like Turkey,” Xinhua news agency quoted Erdogan as saying at a rally in Sakarya while campaigning for a “yes” vote in the upcoming referendum.

“Our Prime Minister will not dine with a Dutch Prime Minister after the elections,” he said, referring to the recent spat between both countries over a ban on rallies by Turkish ministers in the country.

According to local daily Hurriyet, the Turkish President also slammed Germany over harboring terrorist members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Diplomatic tensions between both countries escalated over the weekend after Dutch authorities cancelled Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit to the Netherlands.

Dutch authorities further blocked Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday.

Turkey’s government announced on Monday that it will impose political sanctions against Netherlands, which include suspending high-level relations and all planned meetings with Dutch citizens as well as banning the Dutch ambassador from entering Turkey.