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Rotterdam Police wedged in an international diplomatic rift

March 17, 2017 06:02 PM

ROTTERDAM -- Rotterdam, New York is right here in the Capital Region. But there's also a Rotterdam in the Netherlands, thousands of miles away in Europe. Some Turkish protesters apparently couldn't tell the difference.
     The mistake was likely caused by a quick Google search, according to published reports. When you Google Rotterdam Police, the local police department pops up not the Netherlands. It was a heated diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the Netherlands that had the protesters revved up. People in Turkey were furious over the weekend after the government in the Netherlands barred Turkish ministers from holding a campaign rally in Rotterdam. So, They shared the wrong number on social media and  it went viral. Angry Turkish nationalists started calling Rotterdam, NY Police on Saturday.
     All the calls through the Schenectady County Unified Communication Center. That's the organization that answers 9-11 emergency calls for Schenectady County, including the Rotterdam Police Department. Joe McQueen, a spokesperson for the center said it was quite a large number of calls. At one point there were 900 calls in one hour, subjecting the dispatch center to what is reported as nationalist Turkish songs.
     Despite the confusion and the volume of calls, McQueen said emergency services and 9-11 calls were not disrupted. The calls ended on Sunday. McQueen hopes that's the end of it. Authorities are working to prevent those mistakes from happening in the future.

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Dan Bazile

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