Not a single country in the European Union, including the Netherlands, congratulated Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his projected win in a referendum in Turkey on Sunday. The projected results show that 51.4 percent of Turks voted 'yes' on a referendum that gives Erdogan more power, including the possibility of ruling Turkey until 2029.
With Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming a narrow victory in a referendum designed to give his office more power, several politicians in the Netherlands expressed disdain for the vote results. Erdogan opponents in Turkey questioned the veracity of the vote count, with Turkish state media claiming that 70 percent of Turkish passport holders in the Netherlands voting to give Erdogan greater authority.
At least ten, but maybe as many as 100, Turkish-Dutch are currently stuck in Turkey. They are not allowed to leave the country because they are critical about the Erdogan government, NOS reports based on its own sources. The Turkish government is furious about these reports. There are Dutch-Turks who are not allowed to leave the country, but that is because they have ties to the "terrorist" Gulen movement, the Turkish embassy said to the broadcaster.
Polling stations in the Netherlands open today for Dutch-Turks to vote in a Turkish referendum that, if successful, would give Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power. About 249 thousand Dutch-Turks can vote in the referendum from today until Sunday, RTL Nieuws reports.
People with a Turkish passport in other European countries already voted. Turkey itself will go to the polls on April 16th.
On Thursday Turkish voters living in Amsterdam-Noord received dozens of leaflets about an upcoming referendum in Turkey. Some feel intimidated by the dozens of papers left in their mailbox, they said to AT5.
"I find it quite intimidating because I am not in favor of Erdogan", one woman said to the Amsterdam broadcaster. "I don't like his ideas, I don't want a dictatorship. They should campaign in their own country ad leave us alone." Another person said that it is "extremely risky" to campaign against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to visit the Netherlands for a stadium-sized campaign event for a referendum that would give him more power, the Telegraaf reports. Turkish organizations tried to rent the Amsterdam ArenA, the Ziggo Dome or the Gelder Dome for the event, but all refused.
According to the newspaper, Erdogan was only willing to visit the Netherlands if he could arrange a meeting attended by tens of thousands of his supporters. He wanted it to be a "historic" meeting.
The attempted coup in Turkey last year led to a significant increase of discrimination based on political affiliation reports in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch national association against discrimination LVD. Last year the association received 151 reports of discrimination based on political affiliation, compared to only 14 such reports in 2015. Most of these reports came from Turkish-Dutch, NOS reports.
On Sunday night the police removed large posters showing Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the facade of a building in Rotterdam. A police spokespersons stated that the posters were removed at the request of Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb after information was received that public order may be compromised, NU.nl reports.
Dutch-Turkish media groups that support Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan were supported for years with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Het Parool reports based on its own research. The Stimulation Fund for Journalism paid these media groups hundreds of thousands of euros in subsidies. Most of this money could not be recovered because the companies behind the media groups went bankrupt.
According to the Fund, the majority of the companies went bankrupt because they "devoted little attention to the business side of their business."
A Dutch-Turkish protest planned in Rotterdam on Friday afternoon is canceled, the organizers announced on Facebook. They can't guarantee the safety of the participants and therefore feel it's better not to go through with it, AD reports.
The protest, "Solidarity for Turks", was to advocate for freedom of expression for Dutch-Turks in the Netherlands and against police violence during previous protests at the Turkish consulate this past weekend. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb gave permission for the protesters to march from Central Station to Schouwburgplein between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Dutch-Turks who oppose Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan are worried about reprisals in the Netherlands. This is because Turkish media sources are portraying them as complicit in the diplomatic fallout between Turkey and the Netherlands over the weekend, Trouw reports.
A number of popular Dutch twitter accounts, including that of Amnesty International, Caro Emerald and Donald Duck, were hacked into and hijacked. The hijackers used the accounts to spread Turkish threats and anti-Dutch propaganda, RTL Nieuws reports.
The tweets called the Netherlands and Germany Nazi countries and included a link that takes you to a YouTube video showing a compilation of speeches by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The accompanying text warns not to test Turkey's patience.
In a new verbal attack, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds the Netherlands responsible for the mass murder of thousands of Muslim men in Srebrenica in 1995. "We know the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre", he said in a speech that was televised live in Turkey, according to the Volkskrant. "We know how rotten their character is due to their murder of 8 thousand Bosnians there."
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was very concerned that protests around the Turkish consulate in his city this weekend would devolve into a shooting. He therefore deployed special, armed officers to intervene if the situation got out of hand, Aboutaleb said to Nieuwsuur. "In order to be sure that if it came to an encounter, we would have the upper hand."
Turkey is turning to the European Court of Human Rights in its political battle with the Netherlands, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday. He also announced a number of sanctions against the Netherlands, including that Dutch diplomats are no longer welcome in Turkey, NU.nl reports.
Germany and France expressed their support for the Netherlands in the political spat between the Netherlands and Turkey. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also called for a de-escalation in the situation. After the Netherlands' parliamentary election on Wednesday, Germany and France also have elections upcoming.
The European Commission called on Turkey to refrain from making harsh statements that could worsen the country's relationship with the Netherlands and other European members. "The comparison by the Turkish President with Nazi practices is unacceptable", Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said, according to NOS.
Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called on Turkey to retract its accusations of Nazism and fascism against the Netherlands. If the country does not do so, the relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey will remain difficult, Asscher said, according to RTL Nieuws.
Asscher added that the Dutch government will not take any measures against the Ankara government, even if they refuse to retract the statements. According to him, it is important that calm returns. But "a different form of communication must come from Turkey", he said.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Turkey, due to current political tensions between the two countries. The Dutch government does not advise against going to Turkey, but does warn Dutch travelers to watch out for gatherings and avoid public places, ANP reports.
These warnings are on top of the already in place advice of risks in Turkey due to terrorist attacks and political tensions.
A politically turbulent day between Turkey and the Netherlands ended with the riot police clashing with Dutch-Turkish protesters at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday night and during the early hours of Sunday morning, NOS reports.
Saturday started off turbulent with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu saying that the Netherlands is holding Dutch-Turks hostage by not allowing Turkish ministers to attend campaign meetings in the Netherlands on a referendum to be held in Turkey next month. He also threatened the Netherlands with sanctions
PVV leader Geert Wilders and a number of candidate PVV parliamentarians are demonstrating in front of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague on Wednesday. Wilders is carrying a banner reading "Stay away! This is our country", ANP reports.
A number of anti-Islam group Pegida supporters are also in front of the embassy.The police closed down the street and many officers are present.
The Turkish consulate in Rotterdam confiscated the Turkish passports of a number of Dutch-Turkish people believed to be affiliated with the Gulen movement, Trouw reported on Friday. The people involved were told that they are now classified as a fugitive and were given a one-day passport to fly to Turkey and prove their innocence in front of a judge, according to the newspaper.
Four people made contact with asylum lawyers after the consulate took their passports. But the lawyers believe that much larger numbers are involved.
Turkey recalled the leader of Turkish-Dutch mosque dome Diyanet from the Netherlands, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday. Yusuf Acar is accused of keeping a list of Gulen supporters in the Netherlands and passing it on to the Turkish government.
The chairman of Turkish-Dutch mosque umbrella organization Diyanet collected names of people who sympathize with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and passed it on to the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the chairman himself admitted in an interview with the Telegraaf.