Dutch mother and son blocked from leaving Turkey

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A Dutch-Turkish mother and her son are unable to return to the Netherlands after visiting relatives in Turkey for a funeral. They were banned from leaving Turkey and are currently staying with family in Istanbul, the woman from Arnhem said to newspaper AD on Sunday.

"A week and a half ago we wanted to fly back to the Netherlands, but we were stopped", she said to the newspaper by telephone. "There is an investigation against me, I was told. But I did not do anything wrong. And my son has to be back in school in the Netherlands on Monday."

The two traveled to Turkey in July for a funeral. Upon arrival she was already told that her Turkish identity card was blocked and that returning to the Netherlands would be difficult. "I tried to seek help at the Dutch consulate in Istanbul. But so far, they can't do much for me. I had to seek a lawyer. These are hard to find in August, because of the summer holiday."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently aware of 10 cases in which Dutch-Turks who are not allowed to leave Turkey, a spokesperson said to the newspaper. These bans on leaving often have to do with suspected ties to the Gulen movement, which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey. "We are committed to providing these people with assistance", the spokesperson said. "This is difficult because Turkey regards them as Turkish citizens who fall under Turkish law."

The Arnhem woman told AD that she has no connection with the Gulen movement. "I don't get involved in politics at all, I do not know anything about it", she said. "I suspect that my ex in Turkey reported me through the click line. Out of revenge. We went through a difficult divorce."