Ankara : Turkey will not allow the Dutch ambassador to Ankara to return to Turkey and has suspended high-level diplomatic relations between the two countries, a top government official has said.

Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced the freeze in Ankara Monday amid an escalating row over Turkish officials’ access to the Netherlands, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Over the weekend, the Netherlands refused to allow Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to visit Rotterdam for a political rally. Soon after Cavusoglu was refused entry, the Dutch stopped Turkey’s Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. She was later escorted out of the country.

Violent clashes erupted after the two ministers were prevented from addressing rallies in Rotterdam, where they hoped to drum up support for a referendum to give greater power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan warned the Netherlands it will “pay the price” for harming ties by barring his ministers and compared the Dutch government to Nazis. In response, Dutch PM Mark Rutte said Erdogan’s remarks were inflammatory and demanded an apology. The Dutch government cited “risks to public order and security” as reasons for blocking the Turkish rallies and said such events would stoke tensions days before the Netherlands’ general election on March 15.

Meanwhile, Turkey will file a complaint against the Netherlands with the UN, the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe and to the Council of Europe on the grounds that the Dutch government violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.          IANS

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