BERLIN/AMSTERDAM, March 13 Germany and the
Netherlands revised travel advice for Turkey this week amid a
deepening row over European cancellations of events by Turkish
officials aimed at rallying support for a vote to expand the
powers of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
The Dutch foreign ministry urged citizens visiting Turkey to
exercise caution in revised travel advice issued late on Sunday.
"There have been diplomatic tensions between Turkey and the
Netherlands," the ministry wrote. "Be alert and avoid large
The German foreign ministry, in an updated notice posted on
its website on Monday, said travellers should expect heightened
tensions and protests ahead of the April 16 referendum.
"Travellers are therefore advised to stay away from
political rallies and large crowds," the ministry said. It had
previously advised citizens about heightened security risks in
Turkey following last year's failed coup attempt.
Turkey on Monday threatened diplomatic sanctions against the
Netherlands after Erdogan accused the Dutch government of acting
like "Nazi remnants" for barring his ministers from addressing
expatriate Turks to drum up votes.
The row marks another low point in relations between Turkey
and Europe, further dimming Ankara's prospects of joining the
The travel advisories come as Turkey tries to reverse a 30
percent drop in foreign visitors and revenues last year.
The number of foreign visitors to Turkey fell to 25.4
million in 2016, the lowest in nine years, after a spate of
bombings and the failed coup in July discouraged tourists.
Germany is the source of around 15 percent of Turkey's
tourists and trade visitors at last week's ITB travel fair in
Germany said they had been slashing prices to make up for a drop
Dutch visitors are also important to Turkey's tourism
industry, but travel has been dropping. Some 900,000 Dutch
people travelled to Turkey last year, down from 1.2 million in
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Berlin and Thomas Escritt in
Amsterdam, editing by Ed Osmond)