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Turkey lodges formal complaint as tensions with Netherlands rise

Turkey has summoned the Dutch envoy to protest a "disproportionate" use of force against demonstrators in Rotterdam. The Netherlands has also warned its citizens in Turkey to "stay alert" in light of the rising tensions.

Turkey's foreign ministry said on Monday that it summoned the Netherlands' top diplomat as a feud between the NATO allies continued to deepen.

The Dutch Embassy's charge d'affaires, Daan Feddo Huisinga, was called to the foreign ministry where Turkish officials gave him two formal protest notes - the first about the treatment of its family minister and the second about the treatment of protesters.

Watch video 00:43

Dutch riot police clash with pro-Erdogan demonstrators

Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam after the family affairs minister was blocked from attending a pro-Ankara rally.

Some of the protesters threw bottles and stones while Dutch police used dogs and water cannon to disperse the crowd. Several of the demonstrators were also beaten with batons while mounted officers charged the crowd.

"The Turkish community and our citizens were subject to bad treatment, with inhumane and humiliating methods used in disproportionate intervention against people exercising their right to peaceful assembly," a statement attributed to ministry sources said.

Turkey's foreign ministry also said that it was seeking an official apology for the treatment of the family minister and diplomats. Ankara also told the Dutch envoy that it reserved its right to seek compensation.

Two Turkish ministers were blocked from campaigning for the country's upcoming referendum on Sunday. Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was escorted out of the country while the foreign minister was denied permission to land.

Watch video 00:52

Germany calls for reason in Turkey-Netherlands row

It was the third time the Dutch envoy was summoned since Saturday over the row. There was no immediate reaction from the Dutch government to Turkey's diplomatic notes.

Dutch travel warning

The Netherlands issued a new travel warning to Dutch citizens in Turkey on Monday, urging citizens to take care amid the increasingly bitter dispute between Ankara and The Hague.

"Since March 11, 2017 there have been diplomatic tensions between Turkey and The Netherlands. Stay alert across the whole of Turkey and avoid gatherings and crowded places," the Dutch foreign ministry said in its warning.

The ministry also said there was a safety risk in traveling to Turkey, adding that Dutch citizens should register with the ministry ahead of travel.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking support from ex-pat Turks in an April referendum that would boost his powers.

Erdogan also said the Netherlands could face sanctions and claimed that "Nazism is alive in the West."

On Sunday, Denmark suggested that Erdogan postpone his visit due to the tensions between Ankara and The Hague. Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there were legal avenues to stop Turkish politicians from campaigning in Europe for the referendum.

rs/rt (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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