Writers, politicians come out in support of threatened Dutch-Turkish author
Politicians, writers and members of religious groups have signed an online manifesto in support of a Dutch author of Turkish origin who has received death threats for her work.
Lale Gül, a 23-year-old author, has writen a debut novel called Ik ga leven (I’m going to live my life) describing her strict Islamic upbringing in Amsterdam West and criticising many of the Turkish and Islamic traditions there.
It has provoked an extreme reaction on social media, including death threats, but also now a wave of support from prominent Dutch people.
‘In the Netherlands we make our own choices. We determine how to live, and with whom. You don’t have to earn your freedom, it’s yours in this country regardless of your background, origin, or faith. That includes Lale Gül,’ the manifesto reads.
Former D66 MP Bert Bakker, who initiated the manifesto, said it isn’t calling for any concrete measures but was put up purely to support Gül. ‘She had felt very isolated lately. I saw it all happening on tv and got worked up about the silence from the politicians,’ Bakker told broadcaster NOS.
Among Gül’s political supporters are ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, CDA MP Pieter Omtzigt, VVD MP Dilan Yesilgöz, PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen and D66 Senate member Boris Dittrich.
Femke Halsema, who supported Gül on Instagram, has not put her name to the manifesto, Bakker said. ‘Everyone in the Netherlands can say or write whatever they want. I don’t know what left wing politicians are waiting for to say this in black and white.’
However, parliamentary chair Khadija Arib (PvdA) had written a column supporting Gül earlier while SP leader Lilian Marijnissen called on people to sign the manifesto on Twitter.
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