Turkish demonstration in Rotterdam cancelled over safety fears

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The organisers of a demonstration calling for freedom of speech for Turkish nationals in the Netherlands have cancelled the event because of the risk to public safety.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb had given the green light for the demo, organised by three young Dutch Turks. However, the three later said on the demo’s Facebook page, that they are withdrawing the plan. ‘We do not want to endanger anyone and we did not have bad intentions,’ the note said.

A number of high profile Dutch Turkish organisations, including the Turkse Federatie Nederland, Milli Görüs and Islamitische Stichting Nederland had said they would not take part, according to website DutchTurks.nl.

The demo ‘Solidarity for Turks’ had been organised in the wake of the weekend riots in Rotterdam which took place after two Turkish ministers were banned from addressing rallies.


Meanwhile, Turan Yazir, who represents the CDA on Rotterdam city council, has said he is withdrawing from his public role temporarily after receiving serious threats.

Yazir was named in Turkish government paper Sabah at the weekend as a major Gülen supporter and blamed for stirring up the diplomatic row between the Netherlands and Turkey.

‘His departure is a sign of the unacceptable intervention and intimidation from Turkey,’ CDA leader Sybrand Buma said in a reaction.

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