Monday 16 September 2019

Dutch citizen detained in Turkey for insulting president Erdoğan

Turkish flags hanging inside a building in The Hague. Photo: DutchNews.nl

A Dutch Turkish national has been arrested in Turkey for allegedly insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Trouw said on Monday.

The paper said the man is thought to be the first Dutch citizen to be arrested on political grounds during the summer holidays but that the arrest confirms the fears of many Dutch-Turks that they could be summarily arrested if they return to Turkey during the break.

The man, his wife and children were picked up on their arrival in Istanbul. His wife and children were released but the man was held in custody for several days. Among the complaints against him: he criticized the political situation in Turkey on social media and has described Erdoğan as a thief and a traitor.

Trouw says the man was also questioned about links to the Gülen movement, which Turkey holds responsible for last year’s coup. Thousands of people have been arrested in post coup purges.

The man, who has not been identified, has been told he cannot leave Turkey until his trial.

Trouw says some 10 Dutch Turkish nationals have been told not to leave Turkey pending court appearances.

Last week it emerged that the Netherlands has begun extraditing people charged with drugs offences and serious crimes to face trial in Turkey after the Turkish authorities gave guarantees they would be well treated and would be given a fair trial.

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