Turkish Minister Kaya sues the Netherlands over her forced expulsion

Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya.

Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policy Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, who lived a brawl with the Dutch police in Rotterdam on March 11, 2016, is suing the Netherlands for expelling her from the country, her lawyer Ejder Köse said to Dutch media.

According to the report by nltimes.nl by basing on the news stories which have been taken place in Algemeen Dagblad (AD) and Dutch public broadcaster NOS, Minister Kaya has complaint about the Dutch government over its failure to explain on what grounds she had to leave the country, which means that her expulsion was unlawful.

“On Friday I turned to the court on behalf of Minister Kaya”, the Dutch-Turkish lawyer said to AD. “It is legally still not clear on what basis the Minister was, under duress, deported to Germany under police escort. According to my client, in the early morning of Sunday, March 12th, she was unlawfully named an undesirable foreigner. Mayor Aboutaleb ordered that she be deported, but in that, against the rules, gave no written statement of explanation.”

Kaya arrived in Rotterdam on Saturday night, March 11th, to give a speech about supporting a Turkish referendum that would give Turkey’s already autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan more power. The Dutch government made clear that it did not want Turkish ministers campaigning for the referendum in the Netherlands. The government therefore refused landing rights for a plane bringing Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to the country to give a campaign speech to Dutch-Turks.

After this happened, Minister Kaya was driven to Rotterdam from Germany to give the speech instead, despite the Netherlands not allowing this. The Turkish consulate in Rotterdam did not announce that Minister Kaya was heading to the city. But according to Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, the consul did call on Dutch-Turks to come to the consulate on social media.

Aboutaleb forbade Kaya from entering the consulate. After hours of unsuccessful negotiations about Kaya leaving the Netherlands voluntarily, the Turkish Minister was classified an undesired foreigner and escorted to the border with Germany by the police. After returning to Turkey Kaya said that the Netherlands robbed her of her fundamental rights and the Rotterdam police treated her entourage with undue force.

In the diplomatic fallout that followed Erdoğan accused the Netherlands of fascism and Nazism and mass murder in Srebrenica. He also imposed a number of non-economic sanctions against the Netherlands and demanded an apology. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, however, stands by the steps taken.

Replying the questions of the Dutch Parliament’s members on Monday, the Dutch government has given some new details of the brawl in Rotterdam on March 11, 2016. According to a reports, there were indications that the Minister Kaya’s security guards were carrying weapons during disturbances, the Dutch government wrote to parliament. The Dutch police therefore considered the guards “armed and dangerous.” However, no weapons were found after they were arrested.

“The guards of the minister were repeatedly uncooperative during talks between the police and her entourage,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Foreign Minister Bert Koenders  and Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher wrote to the Dutch Parliament. Due to the threatening situation at the consulate on the night of March 11th, the police deployed several arrest units. A total of 14 people were arrested and taken to a Rotterdam police station. At the station the police discovered that the temporary charge d’affaires and the Turkish Consul General in Deventer were among the detainees. They were immediately released, the Ministers wrote.

According to the Dutch government, there were “deliberate attempts to mislead” in an effort to ensure that Minister Kaya reached Rotterdam unhindered. The Turkish authorities refused to provide information about Kaya’s travel plans, despite repeated requests from the Dutch government.

April 13, 2017

 

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