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Netherlands warns its citizens in Turkey to be cautious after crisis

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The Hague has warned its citizens in Turkey to stay away from crowded places and meeting venues as a crisis has erupted between the two countries after the Netherlands refused to allow two Turkish ministers to hold campaign rallies there for an upcoming referendum in Turkey.

A statement released by the Dutch Foreign Ministry on Monday said a diplomatic crisis has been ongoing between Turkey and the Netherlands since March 11 and urged Dutch citizens in Turkey to be cautious.

There have been public protests in Turkey against the Netherlands since Saturday.

A crisis erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands when the latter cancelled the flight clearance for Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s airplane on Saturday shortly after Çavuşoğlu warned that Turkey would impose “harsh sanctions” on Holland if it were to take such a step.

Çavuşoğlu was scheduled to fly to Rotterdam for a campaign rally.

The crisis reached new heights when Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam.

Turkey’s relations with Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have been strained over these countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to hold rallies there ahead of the public referendum in Turkey in April.

Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved.

Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have canceled scheduled events to be attended by Turkish ministers, usually out of security concerns.

A large number of Turkish citizens or people of Turkish origin live in these countries, and Turkish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in elections and referenda.

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