Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said police who prevented Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from going into the building to address Turkish voters had “permission to shoot”.

He told broadcaster NOS that he was concerned about Kaya’s bodyguards and the possibility of violence.

“We did not know whether these 12 broad men were armed,” he said. “Despite repeated attempts, we were unable to make contact with the consul.”

Referring to the security detail, Aboutaleb added: “Luckily they surrendered but the permission to shoot was given.”

In recent weeks, several European countries have blocked events where Justice and Development (AK) Party ministers had been due to speak to Turkish nationals living abroad about the April 16 referendum on switching to a presidential system.

On Saturday, the Netherlands refused permission for Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight to land. When Kaya tried to step in she was prevented from entering the Turkish consulate in the port city by police and escorted to the German border to be deported.

Police in the Netherlands are routinely armed but Aboutaleb said the police’s Special Intervention Service was assigned to deal with the situation at the consulate, where a large crowd of Turkish nationals had gathered.

These officers were given permission to “'shoot should the need arise,” the mayor said, and to “keep a possible attack under control”.

After Kaya was deported, police dispersed the protestors using batons, dogs and water cannon.

Kaya later said she suffered “harsh and rude treatment” at the hands of the Dutch authorities. Five members of her security detail were also detained late Saturday, she added.

Anadolu Agency