Since last month’s failed coup in Turkey, there have been 68 reports of threats and intimidation among the Dutch Turkish community in Rotterdam, according to broadcaster NOS.
There have also been incidents in Haarlem, Zaandam, Deventer and Eindhoven following the rising tension between different Turkish groups. This takes the total reported incidents to 80 nationwide, according to anti-discrimination bureau Radar.
Rotterdam’s dominance in the figures stems from its community mix, NOS said. Some of the city’s Turks support president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, some back Muslim cleric Fetthulah Gülen and some Turkish Kurds back the PKK.
Although the tension has reduced since the immediate aftermath of the coup, there are fears that it may rise again now many Dutch Turks are returning from their summer holidays in Turkey.
‘The threats are cutting through groups of friends and families,’ Radar director Cyriel Triesscheijn told the broadcaster. ‘People who for years played for the same football club and called each other brother no longer want to be seen together. One doctor has lost patients because he is ‘on the wrong list’.
The school safety foundation Stichting School en Veiligheid has called on schools to get ready to deal with problems between different Turkish groups in the classroom.
‘A lot has happened this summer in Turkey and this has had an impact on children,’ spokesman Klaas Hiemstra told current affairs programme Nieuwsuur.
Teachers must stop pupils getting into discussions in Turkish, he said. ‘You don’t want fighting in class.’
The Islamic school organisation ISO told Nieuwsuur that 150 Amsterdam parents have switched their children out of schools which they say are allied to the Gülen movement.
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