The Dutch foreign ministry has updated the travel advice for those visiting Turkey on 12 March, telling its citizens to "be alert" across the country.

Dutch citizens were told to avoid travelling to Turkey, or at least to avoid demonstrations and crowded places following an escalating diplomatic row over Turkish ministers campaigning in the Netherlands for the upcoming constitutional referendum.

"Since 11 March 2017 there are diplomatic tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands. Highly critical statements were made about the Netherlands and its inhabitants, particularly on social media. The Turkish prime minister declares that it has no influence on Dutch visitors. Be alert across Turkey, avoiding gatherings and crowded places," the updated advice read.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking to change the constitution to acquire greater powers, led the wave of critical remarks against the Netherlands. Speaking at a rally on 13 March, he compared the country to a "banana republic". He had previously warned the country of "harshest" retaliation after the Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from holding rallies and compared the actions of the Dutch government to that of "fascists" and "Nazi remnants".

The travel advice also recommended following news from the Dutch embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General in Istanbul, despite the Turkey foreign ministry telling the Dutch ambassador, who was away over the weekend, that he does not need to return for some time.

The two diplomatic missions remain closed to the public on 13 March, and the Turkish police is investigating the intrusion of a man who raised the Turkish flag in place of the Dutch one in the consulate.

Tensions were high in Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam as protests in support of Turkey's government continued for most of the day on Sunday, proceeding into the night. Turkish-Dutch citizens honked and waved Turkish flag as they drove their cars in a column to slow traffic.

Two protesters were seen raising the Turkish flag inside the Madame Tussauds museum in Amsterdam's Dam square. Protesters threw stones at the police and 13 people were arrested in Amsterdam, local media reported. The police used water cannons to disperse protesters both on Saturday and Sunday.

Pictures of a police dog biting into the leg of a protester who was demonstrating in Rotterdam on 11 March was tweeted by the official account of Turkey foreign minister Mevlut Cavutoglu, with the caption reading "Dogs of Wilders", in reference to anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who promptly retweeted the image, adding that the foreign minister blocked him on Twitter.

Turkey has requested the Netherlands to investigate the police actions at the rallies on 11 March, Reuters reported, calling them "disproportionate". The Dutch envoy in Ankara, Daan Feddo Huisinga, was summoned to explain the police action, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

The spat comes just a few days before the Netherlands votes in parliamentary election on 15 March, which will bring to the formation of a new government coalition. Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Freedom and Democracy party (VVD) is currently leading in the polls, closely followed by Wilders' far right Freedom party (PVV).