Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim vowed there would be "strong countermeasures" after the country's family minister was stopped outside her country's consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday and later escorted out of the Netherlands.

"Our so-called European friends, who at every opportunity speak of democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, have in the face of this event once again failed the class," Yildirim asserted in a statement released early Sunday.

Events like this help Turkey discover who its "real friends" are, Yildirim asserted.

Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayin Kaya travelled to Rotterdam by car from Germany on Saturday after Turkey's top diplomat, Mevlut Cavusoglu, was not allowed to land in the Netherlands.

Cavusoglu had been scheduled to address a campaign rally for Turkish citizens, to be held at the Turkish consulate, promoting an upcoming Turkish referendum on vastly expanding the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Cavusoglu was not allowed to land in the Netherlands after he threatened the country with sanctions should he be denied entry.

In a statement released early Sunday on Facebook, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte pointed out that Kaya had been warned that her planned campaign stop at the Turkish consulate was "unwanted."

Nevertheless, the minister had gone ahead and travelled to the Netherlands, said the statement. She had been asked to leave the country after hours of negotiations outside the Turkish mission.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told an early morning press conference that the Turkish minister had been declared an "unwanted foreigner."

Kaya has since taken off from Germany's Cologne-Bonn airport in a private jet, on her way back to Turkey.

Hundreds of Turkish government supporters had gathered outside the consulate in Rotterdam, some chanting slogans in favour of Erdogan and waving red-and-white Turkish flags.

In Berlin, some 300 demonstrators carrying Turkish flags appeared at the Dutch embassy after midnight. Police spoke of an "emotional but peaceful" protest. It broke up around 0130 (0030 GMT).

In Rutte's statement, he said allowing Cavusoglu to hold the rally posed a security risk and his threat "made the search for a sensible solution impossible." The government had previously said a rally could not be held.

Speaking to reporters at Istanbul airport, Cavusoglu - who is expected in France on Sunday - accused the Dutch government of taking sides in the referendum, saying the Netherlands was afraid of a "yes" outcome because then Turkey "will become stronger, a more independent country." 

Earlier Saturday, after Cavusoglu was denied landing, Erdogan called the Dutch government "Nazi remnants," and warned there could be retaliatory measures.

"From now on, let's see how your planes come to Turkey," Erdogan said at a rally in Istanbul, according to Anadolu, the state-run news agency. He reportedly called the Dutch "fascists."

The Dutch embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul have since been closed off due to security concerns, according to Turkey's Anadolu news agency.

The weekend's controversy has taxed already strained ties between Europe and Ankara.

Several Turkish campaign rallies in support of the April 16 referendum have been cancelled in European countries, including Germany and Austria.

The European Union criticizes Turkey for what it sees as increasingly authoritarian tendencies, including declining press freedoms and crackdowns on the opposition.

More than 140 journalists are in jail, and an extended crackdown since a coup attempt last year has seen more than 40,000 people jailed and tens of thousands purged from the civil service.

The human rights-focused Council of Europe said this week that the referendum threatens to turn Turkey into a "one-person regime."

Meanwhile, the Netherlands goes to the polls on Wednesday in an election in which Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV) has been campaigning on a virulently anti-Islam ticket.

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