Amsterdam police put early end to Turkish-Dutch demonstration

Police officers on Dam square in Amsterdam due to a demonstration by Turkish-Dutch, 12 March 2017
Police officers on Dam square in Amsterdam due to a demonstration by Turkish-Dutch, 12 March 2017Photo: @ThijsH16 / Twitter

On Sunday night the police were forced to intervene in a demonstration by about 250 Turkish-Dutch in Amsterdam. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan put the demonstration to an early end around 10:45 p.m. due to disruptions of public order and traffic, the municipality announced. Riot police units were deployed and eventually chased the demonstrators home using water cannons, AD reports.

The demonstration on Plein 40-45 was in response to political conflict between the Netherlands and Turkey. It started peacefully in the afternoon, but the mood became grim as evening fell. The group started hindering traffic by blocking roads at intersections. Fireworks were thrown and demonstrators refused to follow police instructions, according to the municipality.

According to the municipality, the police repeatedly told the protesters that the mayor will end the demonstration based on fear for public order if the protesters did not leave voluntarily. When the protesters refused to give heed to these instructions, the police intervened and forcefully put an end to the demonstration. Peace returned to the square around midnight. "It is quiet again. The square is almost empty, the protesters went home", the municipality said. 

A total of six people were arrested during the course of the evening. One for giving the Hitler salute and shouting Nazi slogans, two for incitement, one for insulting a police officer and two for throwing stones and public violence. 

There was also a call for demonstration in The Hague, though by evening there was no sign of such. A few groups of Turkish-Dutch young people hung around on the streets, according to NOS. In Rotterdam and other cities, there were no reports of disruptions.