Continuing his reactions to the Netherlands’ expulsion from the country of Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya on Saturday night, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called two police officers, who escorted Kaya to the German border, gorillas.
During an interview with the pro-government A Haber TV on Monday night, Erdoğan accused police officers of being rude to Kaya, who was expelled from the Netherlands on Saturday night after she insisted on going to the residence of the Turkish Consulate General in Rotterdam.
Underlining that Kaya is like a daughter to him, Erdoğan said Kaya was escorted by two police officers to the border and described them as “gorillas.”
The minister, who was declared persona non grata and expelled at the German border, said she was made to wait next to a car for seven hours 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 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.