After promising 'retaliation', Turkey now bans Dutch Ambassador

New York [U.S.], Mar. 14 (ANI): After President Tayyip Erdogan warned the Netherlands that it will "pay the price" for the escalating the already intense diplomatic stand-off, Turkey announced that it will not allow the Dutch ambassador to Ankara to return to Turkey and has suspended "high-level diplomatic relations" between the two countries.

According to CNN, Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus made the announcement in Ankara, indicating no signs of thaw between Turkey and Netherlands.

The fresh development is yet another act of retaliation after a Turkish minister was blocked from visiting the country's consulate in Rotterdam, which resulted in an explosion of severe tension between the two nations.

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

Meanwhile, the barred minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, is demanding answers from the Dutch government over why they blocked him.

The decision to refuse him permission to fly to Rotterdam to address the rally over the weekend was followed by a refusal by the Dutch to let the Turkish family affairs minister, Fatma Betul Sayan Kayafrom, enter the Turkish consulate in the city.

Cavusoglu said he had been given no explanation from the Dutch as to why they had public order and safety concerns over his visit, the reason they gave for blocking it.

What fuelled the already tense situation was when President Erdogan reacted angrily and compared the Dutch government to Nazis.

In response, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Erdogan's remarks were inflammatory and demanded an apology.

On Monday, the Dutch issued travel advice via Twitter for Dutch citizens in Turkey telling them to "avoid demonstrations and be alert", however, Cavusoglu said, "We will not target the Dutch people and we will not harm them because it is not their mistake. And the Dutch people are friends of Turkey and so many tourists are coming to Turkey and we have been friends for 400 years." (ANI)