World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey will impose severe sanctions on the Netherlands if it attempts to cancel my planned meeting there on Saturday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
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.
"Where is the harm in my visiting the country?" he asked, adding he could travel anywhere as a foreign minister.
"If tension will increase [between the two countries] because of my visit, then let it increase," he said.
The Netherlands is not the first country to impose such a ban.
Ties between Ankara and Berlin became strained in recent months after a ban on rallies in Germany drew strong criticism from the Turkish government and opposition parties alike.
"Europe needs right-minded politicians," Cavusoglu said.
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.
"If I want, I could come [to Germany] tomorrow," Erdogan said last week. "If you keep me out the door, or if you prevent me from [making an] address, I will set the world on fire," he said.
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