Turkish protesters outside the consulate general of the Netherlands in Istanbul pulled down the Dutch flag and replaced it with Turkey’s as a diplomatic row escalates between the two countries.
NTV reports that the Dutch flag was taken down at midday for about an hour on Sunday before being restored above the consulate.
VIDEO: Man raises Turkish flag at Dutch consulate in Istanbul https://t.co/ueuPESYwm1 pic.twitter.com/EO3lgjeHAc
— Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) March 12, 2017
One member of a small group of protesters that gathered outside the consulate’s gates early on Sunday managed to climb onto the building’s roof despite police barricades. He then lowered the Dutch flag and raised the Turkish one in its place.
Turkish media are reporting that protests are continuing outside the building.
This incident follows a mass rally that took place outside the building on Saturday night, which led the consulate to be closed for security reasons.
The protests come amid a major diplomatic row between the Dutch and Turkish governments over efforts by the latter to marshal support for a constitutional referendum next month among Turkish citizens in the Netherlands.
On Saturday, Dutch authorities refused permission for Turkey’s foreign minister to land, and the Turkish family affairs minister was later deported after entering the Netherlands by land to attend a political rally.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan branded the Dutch authorities “Nazi remnants, fascists” after permission for Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight to land was revoked. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte fired back, saying the comments were “way out of line.”
Saturday night saw skirmishes in the streets of Rotterdam as Turkish demonstrators protested the Dutch government. The gathering turned violent as protesters hurled missiles and clashed with riot police, who unleashed water cannon to disperse the crowd.