Friday, October 29, 2010

Turkey's government; a rare example of a bunch of hypocrites

Turkey's government accuses Prime Minister Mark Rutte of discriminating Turks in the Netherlands for opposing cabinet ministers with a dual Dutch-Turkish nationality.
The Turkish minister Faruk Çelik (responsible for 'Turks abroad'...) criticises Prime Minister Rutte for remarks he made during the parliamentary debate on the government policy statement earlier this week. During the debate, the conservative liberal leader said he was not concerned by the Dutch-Swedish nationality of Deputy Health Minister Marlies Veldhuijzen van Santen-Hyllner but did have a problem with the Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch nationalities of two deputy ministers in the previous government.
The prime minister argued they are different cases. He claimed Turkey and Morocco "influence their citizens", which could lead to conflicting loyalties, whereas Sweden, a member of the European Union, does not. In this he's absolutely right; the former State Secretary for Justice in the Netherlands,

the Turkish-Dutch politician Nebahat Albayrak, was besides part of the Dutch government, special counselor to the Turkish president. Turkish Dutch citizens (up to the 3th generation) have to fullfil their militairy service in Turkey even if they want to join as volunteer the Dutch army, police force etc. But I remember very well that in 2007 the new Turkish minister of Economy had a British pasport. Turkey as a whole spoke of 'shame' of him and he had to deneutralize himself as a British citizen...

But of course, the whole controversy has erupted due to objections to the deputy minister's dual nationality by PVV leader Geert Wilders. Three years ago, the anti-Islam MP called for a no-confidence motion against two Labour deputies holding a Moroccan and a Turkish passport as well as a Dutch one. On that occasion, though the VVD parliamentary party did not back the no-confidence vote, Mr Rutte, then an MP, supported Mr Wilders' concerns. The current minority coalition, comprising the liberal VVD and the Christian Democrats, has a parliamentary majority thanks to a support agreement with the PVV.
Mr Çelik, who is responsible for Turks abroad (sic, this already says enough), told he did "not see how such a discriminatory remark fostered the integration of foreigners in the Netherlands". "The right to vote and be chosen", the Turkish minister emphasises, "are fundamental human rights". But not for foreigners and minorities in Turkey...the hypocrites!

Next to that Turkey has reiterated that Turkish immigrants should not be required to integrate in the Netherlands. Ankara argues it supports their integration but questions whether they should assimilate completely. Several lawsuits have been brought to court regarding this matter and both countries are engaged in a fundamental diplomatic discussion on the issue. The 16th economy of the world (the Netherlands) against the 17th (Turkey).

Day Opening - October 28

Landscape of Umbria, Italy by Krzysztof Browko