A group of protestors in the Black Sea province of Samsun have burned a French flag as they mistook it for the Dutch flag after the eruption of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the Netherlands due to the latter’s refusal to allow two Turkish ministers to hold campaign rallies in the country.
Turkish news outlets reported on Sunday that the protestors in Samsun burned a Dutch flag after reciting the Turkish national anthem and unfurling Turkish flags in a sign of protest against the Netherlands.
However, video footage and photos released by the news agencies showed that the protestors in fact burned a French flag.
The national flag of France is a tricolor flag featuring three vertical bands colored blue, white, and red. The national flag of the Netherlands is also a tricolor flag. The horizontal fesses are bands of equal size in the colors, from top to bottom, red, white and blue.
A crisis erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands when The Hague canceled 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 a 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 participated in 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.