Dutch Citizens Barred From Leaving Turkey For Supporting Opposition Movement

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

Up to 100 Dutch citizens have been barred from leaving Turkey for supporting the opposition movement against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Dutch public broadcaster NOS reports the affected individuals are of Turkish decent and hold dual citizenships. They are accused of backing U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen’s “Hizmet” movement, which Erdogan claims was behind a military coup in June.

“The reasons why they have been detained are very diverse, but it looks like some of them may be connected to the Gulen movement,” a Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman told The Independent. “We immediately raised the inconvenience caused to these people with the Turkish authorities. Inquiries show that other countries’ citizens are having similar problems in Turkey.”

Relations between the Netherlands and Turkey have soured in recent weeks after pro-Erdogan rallies were canceled. Erdogan called the Netherlands a “Nazi remnant” for revoking Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit to land in Rotterdam for a rally.  (RELATED: Turkey To Retaliate In ‘Harshest Ways’ As Diplomatic Crisis With The Netherlands Deepens [VIDEO])

“Holland! If you are sacrificing Turkish-Dutch relations for the sake of the elections on Wednesday, you will pay a price,” Erdogan said ahead of the Dutch election March 15, according to BBC.

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