Dutch officials in talks with Turkish counterparts over barring of 10 dual nationals from leaving
THE HAGUE – Agence France-Presse
AFP photoDutch officials are in talks with Turkish counterparts to secure the return of at least 10 citizens with dual nationalities after Turkey barred them from leaving, a Dutch official said April 6.
“We are obviously doing everything we can to assist these people,” Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement, adding he had raised the issue at the highest levels in Ankara.
“About 10 people have been handed travel bans, some of whom have been in Turkey for a while now,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
“We are in touch with the Turkish authorities and are doing our best to assist them through the Dutch embassy in Ankara to return to The Netherlands,” spokeswoman Daphne Kerremans told AFP, but declined to give further details.
Dutch media reports said at least 10, but perhaps more Dutch-Turkish citizens have been prevented from leaving Turkey because of their critical views of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“In many cases it involves people who went to Turkey on holiday to visit relatives. Some are facing legal procedures,” Dutch newscaster NOS said.
Some are also suspected by Ankara of having links to U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of masterminding the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
NOS said as many as 100 Dutch citizens were unable to leave the country, but Kerremans said precise numbers were difficult to obtain since the ministry knew only of those who had sought consular help.
“The reasons why they have been detained are very diverse, but it looks like some of them may be connected to the Gülen movement,” the spokeswoman said, adding that they were aware of the Turkish-Dutch dual citizens.
“We are prepared to help people who actively seek assistance,” the Dutch foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that Turkish authorities had been informed.
“It appears that other countries’ citizens are having similar problems in Turkey,” it said.
Other European countries, including Austria and Switzerland, have also seen citizens of Turkish descent prevented from leaving the country.