Turkey wants Dutch Turkish to report those who insult Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile). (Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile))

Dutch politicians are outraged by a letter sent out by Turkey’s consulate in Rotterdam calling for Turkish organizations to report people who insult the country’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The head of state is targeting thousands of people in Turkey for prosecution, accused of insulting him, while the Dutch parliament is criminalizing any affront to a friendly nation’s leader.

The email called on various Turkish organizations in the Netherlands to report insults directed at Erdogan, Turkey and the Turkish people. Reports should be sent to that same email address until Thursday.

The SP is demanding a debate on the matter. Parliamentarian Sade Karabulut labeled the email "Erdogan's long arm in the Netherlands", according to the Volkskrant. The SP MP called the email unacceptable, unwanted interference and influence.

A parliamentary majority supported her call for a debate, though it hasn't been scheduled yet.

Independent parliamentarians Louis Bontes and Joram van Klaveren demand that the Government takes measures to ensure that the Turkish government stops "this disturbing interference".

The Dutch department of Turkish opposition party CHP received numerous calls from concerned people on Thursday, chairman Axu Ozalp said to the Volkskrant. "People are afraid because they once responded to something critical on Facebook or Twitter for example. They worry about whether they can still go on holiday to Turkey with peace of mind or will they be stopped at the border", Ozalp said. "This is very worrying and we therefore also emphatically disapprove of this call."

The Turkish Workers Association in the Netherlands expressed a similar opinion and called on all Turks in the Netherlands to show their disapproval by flooding that email address with protest emails.