Up to 100 people have been banned from leaving Turkey to return home because they have been critical of Turkish President Erdoğan’s government, reports Dutch broadcaster the NOS.
The national broadcaster claimed on Thursday night that ‘certainly ten and perhaps up to 100 people’ of dual nationality have had their passage home blocked, in the run-up to a constitutional referendum that would give Erdoğan sweeping new powers.
Many, it reports, were visiting family or on holiday and some are now facing judicial procedures.
Daphne Kerremans, a spokeswoman for the Dutch foreign affairs ministry confirmed to DutchNews.nl that they were talking with the Turkish government in the case of “about ten” people.
“About 10 people are having problems with this,” she said. “Since the coup in Turkey last year, the situation has been tense and this applies to Turks with Dutch and other dual nationalities.
“Some people have been unable to return for some time, and we have been talking to the Turkish government to find a solution.”
Socialist party MP Sadet Karabulut MP, who has a Turkish-Kurdish background, told the NOS: “The question is on what grounds these people have been told they cannot leave the country.”
The broadcaster has reported on the story of a man called Samir who went to Turkey to visit family and after a few days tried to fly back, but was turned back and has now been stuck in the country for almost two months.
“All of the 10 people are followers of Gülen or opponents of Turkish President Erdoğan,” reports the NOS.
Fethullah Gülen was blamed by the Turkish president for the failed coup last July, something he denied. The coup sparked a crackdown on journalists and alleged Gülen supporters in Turkey.
Tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands flamed last month when Rotterdam refused to allow Turkish ministers to campaign for the referendum in their country, sparking a war of words in which Erdoğan accused the Dutch of “Nazism” and “behaving like a banana republic.”
Last year, Dutch-Turkish columnist Ebru Umar was temporarily blocked from leaving Turkey for tweets deemed critical of the Turkish president.
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