Turkish ministers will not hold charter referendum campaigns in Netherlands: Official

Turkish ministers will not hold campaigns on the charter referendum in the Netherlands following a diplomatic row between The Hague and Ankara, a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) official has said.

No Turkish ministers will come to the Netherlands to hold campaigns for the April 16 referendum, the party’s Netherlands campaign manager Mustafa Aslan told Dutch broadcaster NOS, as reported by the BBC Turkish Service.

The party decision was made on March 20, Aslan said.

Tensions between the two countries have recently stoked after the Netherlands initially canceled the flight permit of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to the country on March 11, which was later followed by the barring of Family Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya’s entry to the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam to campaign for the charter referendum.

Dutch police used dogs, horses and a water cannon to disperse Turkish protesters in front of the consulate in Rotterdam following the ban.

Germany had also previously blocked Turkish ministers from staging rallies to receive votes from expatriate Turks in the referendum.

Around 260,000 Turkish-origin voters will cast their votes in the Netherlands for the referendum on shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system between April 5 and April 9.

Three separate ballot boxes will be set up in Amsterdam, The Hague and Deventer for the referendum.

The ballot region in Deventer had been prohibited from carrying flags and political symbols as well as public demonstrations.

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