This riot is directly connected to Turkey’s April “constitutional reform” referendum and the current diplomatic standoff between Germany and Turkey.
Turkey has a huge diaspora in Europe and allows them to vote in Turkish elections. The ruling party of Turkey is trying to hold campaign rallies in Europe for the upcoming referendum. The government of Germany already shut down two planned rallies after an ethnic Turkish journalist, with German citizenship, was arrested for speech crimes in Turkey.
The Turkish ruling party also wanted to hold a rally in the Netherlands, where there are an estimated 400-500k Turks. The Dutch government denied the permit. So last night, Turks massed in front of the Turkish consulate and then rioted. They blocked traffic and battled with Dutch police. The mayor of Rotterdam declared a state of emergency.
The Turkish minister of Family Affairs, who was going to speak at the campaign rally, has been asked to leave the country.
On April 16th, 2017, Turkey has a public referendum on several amendments to the Turkish constitution. The goal of the referendum is to give the Turkish president more power. This is seen as almost a joke by outside critics, because Erdogan has seized so much power already. Erdogan’s AKP currently rules the parliament with an outright majority of 58%. The pan-Turkic nationalist party, MHP, has another 7%. This party is connected to the Grey Wolves, which is a designated “terrorist group” in several countries. The MHP actually lost half their seats in the last election because the AKP ran on such a militant platform that they stole MHP’s thunder.