When Ercan Karakoyun goes to a restaurant in Kreuzberg or Neukölln, Berlin’s boroughs with a large migrant population, he never sits with his back to the door. When he leaves, he looks left and right before exiting, to make sure no one is waiting for him. He also stopped visiting Turkish mosques, fearing an attack.
Another woman, a former Turkish journalist before the government shut down papers that spoke out against it, said: “I feel like my voice has been taken. People don’t feel safe in London, even going shopping, because we don’t know what radicals will do.”
What really annoyed the Dutch government, however, was when the Turkish consul general sent a letter to local authorities in the Netherlands advising them how to curb public protests opposing the government in Ankara. That brought a coldly dismissive response from foreign minister, Bert Koenders: “The Netherlands deals with Dutch society and that has nothing to do with the Turkish government.”
Calling for an international probe into the accusation, Gulen told ZDF that he would be ready to answer to such an investigation. “If their accusations stand, then I will accept what they want. But they have neither succeeded in showing any concrete proof nor given an answer to my suggestion. Therefore, these are all just mere assertions,” he said.
Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker announced that there is a parliamentary debate over the Islamic University of Rotterdam for cancellation of the “university status” of the institution due to Rector Ahmet Akgündüz’s repeatedly hateful and discriminatory remarks against Turkey’s minorities and the Gülen movement.
None of this has stopped the government from undertaking a huge, self-destructive purge, with around 10,000 people arrested, 100,000 people dismissed, and the seizure of assets of more than $4 billion, numbers that worry not just human rights activists but foreign investors as well. The government’s fury is understandable but it should distinguish between those who took part in the coup and those who simply belonged to the Gulen movement.
Judges in Haarlem have banned four mothers from calling an Islamic primary school in Zaanstad a ‘terrorist’ school. People who press ahead with saying the school supports terrorism face a fine of €1,000 with a maximum of €10,000.
Germany, dependent on Turkey to hold back the migrant flow to Europe, has been muted in its response. The United States, under pressure to push Mr Gulen out of his exile, has also tried to soothe nerves in Ankara. Britain should not be so amenable. This campaign should not be allowed to infiltrate the streets of Britain.
A 28-year-old man of Turkish origin has been handed down a prison sentence of eight months and a fine of 23,000 euros by a French court after he attacked several institutions affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement in the country. M.Y. admitted to have taken part in six other attacks against Gülen-affiliated education and culture centers in France.
The Turkish-language newspaper “Zaman” will stop operations in Germany after “threats” to readers, a staff member has said. The Turkish government took over the paper in Turkey itself in March. “Our subscribers are being visited; they are being threatened that if they continue to subscribe, they will have problems,” Bag said. He added that the current situation in Turkey, where the government is carrying out a wide-ranging media purge, was spilling over into Germany.
Dutch police on Wednesday detained a second Turkish man, a supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on suspicion of death threats and hate speech made against Erdoğan critics in the Netherlands. Rotterdam police detained a 43-year-old Dutchman of Turkish descent who is suspected of having threatened critics of the Turkish president and backers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Dutch police on Monday detained a 42-year-old Dutchman of Turkish descent for alleged death threats and hate speech after the failed Turkish coup in July, which has ratcheted up tension among Turks in the Netherlands. The arrested man is an Erdogan supporter and he is suspected of having threatened Gulen backers online and in person, a Dutch official said on condition of anonymity.
Only days after Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Minister Bert Koenders’ frantic diplomatic efforts to limit Turkish interference in Dutch society, the Turkish state news agency published a new so-called “Gulen list” on Tuesday. The list contains names of organizations in the Netherlands allegedly affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, which are to be boycotted because they are considered enemies of the Turkish State. Politicians in the Netherlands are furious.
Lists are circulating in Amsterdam containing the names of Turkish students in Amsterdam schools, with details on who supports Fethullah Gulen and Who Supports Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan. About 150 primary school students did not show up for school this week due to “intimidation and bullying” related to tensions in the Turkish community. The municipality deployed extra education inspectors to visit parents who are keeping their children home from school.