Six face charges over Rotterdam Turkish referendum riots

Dutch newspapers after the riots

Six people are to face charges following the rioting outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam this March, the public prosecution department said on Friday.

The six, two of whom are under the age of 18, will be charged with public violence offences. One of the six, a 36-year-old man, will also be charged with grievous bodily harm for kicking a policeman’s head, the department said.

The trouble took place after the Dutch refused to allow a Turkish minister to attend a meeting at the consulate to promote the referendum giving the Turkish president more powers. A large number of people had gathered in front of the building and police brought in water cannon in an effort to break up the crowds.

The incident was a trigger for increased tension between the Netherlands and Turkey and the relationship between the two countries has been strained since then.

However, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters earlier this week that he has no problem with the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.  ‘To the contrary, those who are in the governments of these countries are my old friends,’ he said.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said last week he wanted a better relationship with Turkey.

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