Turkey consulate riots: Six to be prosecuted in Rotterdam skirmish
Six people accused of rioting at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam will be prosecuted for violent crimes, the Dutch public prosecutor’s office announced on Friday. Violence around the March 11 expulsion of a prominent Turkish politician came to a boiling point a few hours after it became clear she would not be allowed to speak at a rally in front of the consulate.
One of the six is suspected of more severe assault charges. The 36-year-old is accused of kicking a policeman in the head. Two other suspects charged are underage.
The decision to prosecute the six comes less than a day after diplomatic tensions between the two nations appeared to soften after two years of difficulties.
A further eight people are still being sought. The prosecutor’s office said they do not know the identity of the eight, and that they may not reside in the Netherlands.
“This possibly concerns people who came to Rotterdam from Belgium or Germany,” the prosecutor’s office told De Gelderlander. Photos of all 14 suspects were released earlier shortly after the trouble in Rotterdam.
Turkey’s family and social affairs minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was expected to speak to the crowd on March 11, but was escorted out of the Netherlands by Dutch police after an hours-long standoff with authorities in Rotterdam. Police accompanied Kaya’s team all the way to Germany.
Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said the next day the Netherlands repeatedly told Kaya she would not be permitted in the country. Kaya was to speak to the crowd before Turkish people were to vote in a referendum that led to that country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, consolidating power.
Earlier that day, the Netherlands prevented a plane carrying the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, from landing in the country. He was also set to make a campaign stop in Rotterdam.