Amsterdam, Rotterdam police more alert due to unrest in Turkey

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Turkish flag (Photo: Bahar/Wikimedia Commons). (Turkish flag (Photo: Bahar/Wikimedia Commons))

The police in Amsterdam and Rotterdam are on high alert following a failed coup attempt in Turkey on Friday night. The mayors of the two large Dutch cities hope to prevent tensions in Turkey spilling over into their communities.

The Amsterdam municipality is consulting with various Turkish organizations in the city, a spokesperson said to AT5. He added that these talks aren't new. "Over the past years the Mayor (Eberhard van der Laan, ed) regularly had conversations with various Turkish organizations. The starting point for these discussions is always that we import no conflict. In Amsterdam we are primarily Amsterdammers."

The spokesperson added that the police are extra alert. There were some small demonstrations in Amsterdam over the weekend, but no major incidents.

The Rotterdam police are providing extra security to several buildings and places in the city, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said to RTL Late Night. He did not reveal which addresses or what measures are involved. Demonstrations in the city after the attempted coup were somewhat more grim than in Amsterdam, with journalists being harassed in one case. And after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed his rival Fethullah Gulen for the failed coup, a number of institutions affiliated with Gulen were vandalized.

According to Aboutaleb, attempts to discuss the matter with the Dutch representatives of both camps in Rotterdam failed. The representatives on both sides called off the talks at the last moment.

A number of Gulen supporters in the Netherlands report being threatened after the attempted coup. Erdogan supporters are also encouraged to boycott businesses run by Gulen supporters via blacklists circulating on the internet.

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