Netherlands cancels Turkish minister's flight permit

Ankara [Turkey], Mar. 11 (ANI): The Netherlands on Saturday canceled Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's flight permit on grounds of "security" and "public safety", Dutch Foreign Ministry announced in a statement Saturday.

The announcement came just hours after Cavusoglu said Turkey would impose "severe sanctions" on the Netherlands if attempts were made to cancel his planned meeting in the European country.

The minister was scheduled to address the Turkish community in the Dutch city of Rotterdam later Saturday.

According to Anadolu news agency, the Dutch statement, the decision came after Cavusoglu's "threat" to impose sanctions on the Netherlands.

Earlier today, Cavusoglu had warned the Netherlands of imposing 'severe sanctions' if it attempts to cancel his planned meeting on Saturday.

Cavusoglu said: "If the Netherlands cancels my flight, we will impose severe sanctions on them that will affect it economically and politically."

The Netherlands is not the first country to impose such a ban. The ties between Ankara and Berlin strained in recent months after a ban on rallies by Turkish ministers in Germany. Germany had revoked its permission for Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag's meeting, citing concerns about overcrowding.

The planned rallies by Turkish ministers in countries with native population come ahead of the April 16 referendum in Turkey that would expand the powers of the President.

Following the denial of permission by the Dutch, Turkey summoned the charge d'affaires of the Netherlands to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara on Saturday, reported Anadolu. (ANI)