Europe

Turkish foreign minister determined to visit Netherlands

  • Campaign staff hold a banner reading "Stay Away, This Is Our Country" as firebrand anti Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, left, protests outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, against the planned campaign visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to lobby for a referendum giving President Erdogan increased powers. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Campaign staff hold a banner reading "Stay Away, This Is Our Country" as firebrand anti Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, left, protests outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, against the planned campaign visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to lobby for a referendum giving President Erdogan increased powers. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu laughs during a visit of the booth of Turkey at the tourism fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    The Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu laughs during a visit of the booth of Turkey at the tourism fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a visit of the booth of Turkey at the tourism fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    The Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a visit of the booth of Turkey at the tourism fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's foreign minister says he will go to the Netherlands to address a rally seeking the support of Turkish citizens in the upcoming referendum on expanding presidential powers. He has threatened sanctions if he is blocked.

In an interview with private broadcaster CNN Turk, Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would travel to Rotterdam Saturday to meet supporters and added: "If the Netherlands cancels my flight permit, our sanctions to the Netherlands would be heavy."

Cavusoglu also repeated the government's charges that bans on rallies are "fascist practices."

He says the German and Dutch bans on campaigns for a "yes" vote in the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes means that Europe is "taking a side for a 'no' vote."