It all started with the Dutch Government thwarting the landing permission of the plane carrying Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Turkey, planning to run a series of referendum rallies in Europe. In the aftermath of the incident, Çavuşoğlu tweeted, “One can rest assured that we will respond to those who took this step,” and the issue gradually turned into a political row between Turkish and Dutch governments as Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, Minister of Family and Social Policies, took to Turkish consulate building in Holland and was barred by Dutch policemen from getting near the building.
During the course of political row between the two countries, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, called the Dutch government, “remnants of Nazis” and Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya deemed the decisions by Dutch officials “undemocratic.”
While Kaya had to return to Turkey, Turks in Holland and İstanbul started a series of demonstrations to protest Dutch government. The area where Turkish consulate is located was filled with Turks waving flags and yelling patriotic slogans while Holland’s Consulate building in İstanbul, Taksim, suffered the rage of thousands on Saturday evening.
Early in Sunday morning, one member of a small group that gathered in front of the Holland’s Consulate building gate in İstanbul managed to get over to the other side despite precautions by the police. He took down the Dutch flag and raised a Turkish flag in its place amid “Allahu Akbar” cries.
Anadolu Agency, a news agency owned by Turkish government, said the flag was taken down by someone inside the building, and no trespassing was in question. However, the video showing the lowering of the flag has cast doubts upon this statement.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte claimed that “Turkish government has done all it can to tangle up the issue,” and that he has “fallen in the midst of a wrong movie.”
It is yet to be seen how the conflict will come to an end as Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared on its website that Dutch ambassador for Turkey, who is outside of Turkey at the moment on a regular leave, has been asked to postpone his coming to Turkey. Moreover, rector of Maltepe University in İstanbul, Şahin Karasar, has stated in Twitter that Erasmus alliances with universities in Holland are being cancelled.
I am a literature major at Boğaziçi University in İstanbul. I hate İstanbul, yet I am in love with it.