Turkish Minister sues Netherlands over expulsion

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Turkish Minister of Family Affairs Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya is suing the Netherlands for expelling her from the country on March 12th, her lawyer Ejder Kose said to AD and confirmed to NOS. According to Kaya, the Dutch government failed to explain on what grounds she had to leave the country, which means that her expulsion was unlawful.

"On Friday I turned to the court on behalf of Minister Kaya", the Dutch-Turkish lawyer said to AD. "It is legally still not clear on what basis the Minister was, under duress, deported to Germany under police escort. According to my client, in the early morning of Sunday, March 12th, she was unlawfully named an undesirable foreigner. Mayor Aboutaleb ordered that she be deported, but in that, against the rules, gave no written statement of explanation."

Kaya arrived in Rotterdam on Saturday night, March 11th, to give a speech about supporting a Turkish referendum that would give president Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power. The Netherlands made clear that it did not want Turkish Ministers campaigning for the referendum in the Netherlands. The government therefore refused landing rights for a plane bringing Foreign Affairs Minister Melvlüt Cavusoglu to the country to give a campaign speech to Dutch-Turks. 

After this happened, Kaya was driven to Rotterdam from Germany to give the speech instead, despite the Netherlands not allowing this. The Turkish consulate in Rotterdam did not announce that Kaya was heading to the city. But according to Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, the consul did call on Dutch-Turks to come to the consulate on social media.

Aboutaleb forbade Kaya from entering the consulate. After hours of unsuccessful negotiations about Kaya leaving the Netherlands voluntarily, the Turkish Minister was classified an undesired foreigner and escorted to the border with Germany by the police. 

After returning to Turkey Kaya said that the Netherlands robbed her of her fundamental rights and the Rotterdam police treated her entourage with undue force. In the diplomatic fallout that followed Erdogan accused the Netherlands of fascism and Nazism and mass murder in Srebrenica. He also imposed a number of non-economic sanctions against the Netherlands and demanded an apology. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, however, stands by the steps taken.