Dutch MPs press Turkish consulate over Erdogan insults issue

The Turkish consulate in Rotterdam stated on Thursday night that anasking them to report incidents in which Turkey or its president are insulted, was a misunderstanding caused by an employee that made a mistake. A majority in parliament finds this explanation insufficient and are demanding further clarification, NOS reports.

According to the consulate, one of its employees made the wrong word choices in the email, giving the impression that Turkish-Dutch are called on to report insults. The call was not their intention.

Ruling coalition VVD and PvdA and opposition parties CDA, SP and D66 don't believe that explanation. They are calling for further clarification. "It is not credible to me. The call came from the consulate and it was widely distributed", SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut said tot he broadcaster. PvdA parliamentarian Marit Maij also can't believe that the mail was an accident. "It is good that the government will request clarification from the Turkish authorities."

Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that he will make inquiry with the Turkish authorities. As things stands now, this is still his intention.

Turkey is not planning to press charges of insult and defamation in the Netherlands, despite a sharp increase in the number of "hate mail" the Turkish Embassy in The Hague is receiving, press officer Emrullah Cuma Akgunduz said to the Volkskrant. He did not give a reason for why no charges are being pressed.

According to him, hate mail to the embassy increased sharply following German comedian John Bohmermann for insulting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Over the past few weeks Erdogan was described as a "fascist like Hitler" and a "fucking faggot" that must be killed, in emails the embassy received.