Tuesday 24 September 2019

Dutch Turks call for ‘abusive’ Umar to be charged

Ebru Umar. Photo: Oscar via Wikimedia Commons

Ebru Umar. Photo: Oscar via Wikimedia Commons

More than 20 members of the Dutch Turkish community, as well as a cultural organisations, have filed official complaints against controversial columnist Ebru Umar.

The complainants claim Umar has repeatedly used ‘extremely insulting’ language to demean her fellow Dutch Turks, such as comparing them to members of the Nazi-supporting NSB party and calling them ‘goat f***ers’.

Umar was arrested in April while on holiday in Turkey and accused of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter. She was banned from leaving the country for three weeks and the charges against her have not been formally dropped.

A lawyer for the Turkish Islamic Cultural Federation has asked the public prosecution service to bring charges against Umar for insulting a section of society, NOS reported. A total of 22 private individuals have also asked police to investigate.

Community tension

Umar responded in typically belligerent fashion on Twitter, arguing that people who expressed supported President Erdogan and flew the Turkish flag on the streets of Rotterdam were not entitled to call themselves Dutch.

Tensions have increased within the Dutch Turkish community in the two weeks since an attempted military coup failed to remove Erdogan’s government. ‘Boycott lists’ of companies allegedly supporting opposition leader Fethullah Gülen have circulated on social media and business owners have reported being threatened or intimidated by Erdogan’s supporters.

The Dutch government has called on Turkish nationals in the Netherlands to report threatening behaviour to the police.

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