Turkey lashes out at Dutch immigration policies
Dutch newspaper reports that the Turkish government has fiercely criticised the new Dutch government's stricter immigration and integration policies. Labour and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik said the new policies place immigrants in an isolated position.
The minister mentioned the high costs of obtaining a residence permit, compulsory integration courses and the fact that Turkish language classes are not part of the curriculum offered at Dutch schools.
Mr Çelik pointed to the successful integration of Turkish immigrants in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. He said the Netherlands and other Western European countries could learn from their example.
The Turkish minister is quoted in as saying that: "The fact that young Dutch people of Turkish descent still believe they are second-rate citizens, that they are not welcome, or that they are being discriminated against shows that the Dutch authorities need to revise their immigration policies." Minister Çelik is responsible for Turks living abroad.
A group of prominent Dutch Turks recently wrote a letter about the increasing integration problems among young Turks in the Netherlands. The authors also called on the Turkish government to stop interfering with the religious beliefs of Dutch Turks, but Mr Çelik rejected their appeal. The Turkish government sends imams to the Netherlands.
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