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Turkish students protest Netherlands

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Students gathered outside the Dutch embassy in London last weekend to demonstrate

UK demonstration comes as Britain urges two countries to resolve differences quickly

The Dutch government’s decision to stop Turkish ministers from campaigning in the Netherlands was protested in London last weekend by a group of students.

The group from the Turkish Students Union, more commonly known by its initials TUSU, gathered in front of the Dutch embassy and shouted: “No to racism”.

The demonstrators were carrying placards that read “Free Democracy Lessons from Turkey” and “We condemn this attitude of the Netherlands! You can’t stop us!”

In a statement to Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, TUSU President Huseyin Duran claimed European countries permitted supporters of the Kurdish militant group PKK to hold events at EU headquarters and European Parliament’s buildings, but banned Turkish students.

“The Netherlands’ mask was torn and their real anti-democratic face came out to surface,” Mr Duran said according to the agency. He accused Dutch authorities of using violence against peaceful Turkish protesters in Rotterdam.

Tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands have been high since the weekend’s incident, which saw Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu refused permission to land in the Netherlands for a rally in Rotterdam and family minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya escorted back to the German border after she attempted to reach the event by road.

Britain has sought to distance itself from the diplomatic row, although trade minister Greg Hands told Haber last week that there was no obstacle to Turkish ministers campaigning in the UK.

A UK government spokeswoman told Haber newspaper: “We urge both sides to work towards a swift resolution. Clearly it is in everybody’s interests that the EU and Turkey maintain a strong relationship and that these issues are resolved as quickly as possible.”