MPs from across the political spectrum have called on the foreign ministry to change its travel advice for Turkey following the arrest of a Dutch Turk for criticising president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Turkish authorities say the man has been under investigation for some time for calling Erdoğan a thief and a dictator on social media and for criticising the political situation in the country.
D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma told Trouw that this arrest can no longer be regarded as an incident. Around 10 other Dutch Turks have been banned from leaving Turkey because they are said to have ties to the Gulen movement. Erdoğan says Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen was behind last year’s failed coup.
The foreign ministry currently states in its travel advice for Turkey under local laws and customs that insulting the country or its head of state is a crime, even if the remarks are made in another country.
Socialist MP Sadet Karabulut told the paper that new travel advice is needed. ‘People are simply in danger,’ he said. ‘The Turkish government is further curtailing freedom and things have gone so far that Dutch Turkish tourists are being arrested.’
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