Turkey accuses Dutch PM of discrimination
Turkey's government accuses Prime Minister Mark Rutte of discriminating Turks in the Netherlands for opposing cabinet ministers with a dual Dutch-Turkish nationality.
In an interview with the newspaper , Turkish minister Faruk Çelik 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.
Wilders no-confidence motion The 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, told he did "not see how such a discriminatory remark fostered the integration of foreigners in the Netherlands". "The right to vote", the Turkish minister empasises, "and be chosen are fundamental human rights".
No mandatory integration 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 law suits have been brought regarding this matter and both countries are engaged in a fundamental diplomatic discussion on the issue.
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