EFEBrussels

NATO's secretary general asked Holland and Turkey on Monday, as NATO partners, to show mutual respect and reduce tensions after a crisis unleashed this weekend when Amsterdam barred Turkish ministers from campaigning on Dutch soil.

Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference that he had contacted the Dutch and Turkish governments after Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had called the Netherlands of acting like Nazis and Fascists.

"Robust debate is at the heart of our democracies but so is mutual respect," said Stoltenberg. "I would encourage all allies to show mutual respect, to be calm and have a measured approach, to contribute to de-escalate the tensions, defuse tensions and de-escalate the situation," he added.

Stoltenberg's spoke after he was asked by journalists to comment on the weekend's diplomatic conflict that erupted between Holland and Turkey.

"It's important that we now focus on everything that unites us," NATO's secretary-general said.

The Norwegian politician said that it was important to dialogue and that NATO members must understand and support each.

He said Turkey's presence in NATO was "good for Turkey but also for Europe and for the rest of the alliance" in face of the instability in neighboring countries such as Irak or Syria.

He said that it was in NATO members' common interest to work and face challenges together.

Last weekend, Holland forbade a plane transporting Mevlüt Çavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Affairs minister, from landing on its territory where he was due to attend a Turkish constitutional reform political campaign act, scheduled for Apr. 16.

Likewise, the Turkish minister for family affairs, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, was barred from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam where she was scheduled to give a political campaign speech.

The incident included a standoff with Dutch armed police and she was escorted back to the German border, where she had arrived from only hours earlier.

Before being diplomatically deported on the border Kaya tweeted: "We're not allowed to enter into our Consulate which is part of our homeland," and added, "Is this really the heart of Europe ot (sic) the cradle of civilization."

After both incidents, Erdogan criticized the Dutch government as he attended acts promoting his views.

"They are Nazi remnants, they are fascists," he said and went on to describe the Netherlands as a "banana republic" and warned of sanctions in retaliation.

When asked about the forthcoming Turkish referendum, aimed to increase Erdogan's presidential powers, Stoltenberg expressed his respects and described it as part of the democratic process.