Sunday 17 October 2021

Mother and son on family visit to Turkey barred from returning to Netherlands

A mother and her son from Arnhem are stuck in Turkey after they were stopped at the border on their way back to the Netherlands.

Both have dual Dutch-Turkish nationality and were warned when they arrived for a family visit that their travel documents had been blocked, the Gelderlander reported. The foreign ministry said it was aware of around 10 cases of dual nationals who have been banned from leaving Turkey.

The Turkish government has imposed bans on people accused of being involved in the Gülen movement, which has been blamed for planning last summer’s failed military coup. The mother told the Gelderlander she was recently divorced and her ex-husband may have given her name to the authorities.

‘I’m not involved in politics, I know nothing about it,’ she said. ‘I suspect my ex in Turkey passed on my details via the tip-off hotline, as revenge.

‘I’ve heard that I’m the subject of an investigation, but I’ve done nothing wrong and my son is supposed to be back at school in the Netherlands on Monday.’

The Dutch foreign ministry’s official advice to travellers to Turkey warns that the government is cracking down on dual nationals accused of insulting the head of state.

‘We’re doing everything we can to offer support to these people,’ a spokesman told the Gelderlander. It’s difficult, because Turkey regards them as Turkish citizens who have to abide by Turkish law.’

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