Turkey warns Netherlands of 'severe sanctions'

Ankara [Turkey], Mar. 11 (ANI): Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned the Netherlands of imposing 'severe sanctions' if it attempts to cancel his planned meeting on Saturday.

In remarks made during a live television interview on CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said: "If the Netherlands cancels my flight, we will impose severe sanctions on them that will affect it economically and politically."

The Foreign Minister is scheduled to address the Turkish community in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on Saturday despite recent steps banning Turkey's ministers and politicians from holding public rallies, reports Anadolu news agency.

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 minister also confirmed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "is thinking of a visit to Germany" but the date and place has not been decided yet.

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.

Among Germany's three million Turkish community, nearly 1.5 million of them are eligible to vote. They will cast their votes at Turkish consulates in Germany between March 27 and April 9. (ANI)