Erdogan and the Netherlands: Still Not a Happy Couple!

Erdogan and the Netherlands: still no friends

In North-America people start worrying about a Christmas Turkey starting the holiday season, but in Europe people are starting to worry about Turkey year round – not just during Christmas. But President Erdogan has given the Netherlands an extra reason to worry during the season, two Dutchmen are under arrest for terrorism allegations against the Turkish president and a cartoonist is being sued.

“Erdogan is Not A…”

Ruben L. Oppenheimer is a Dutch cartoonist who draws comical, satirical cartoons about politics, society and so forth – basically, he’ll set his sights on all things ridiculous and problematic. In this particular case Ruben picked President Erdogan as his subject – and Erdogan picked Ruben as his. Which is not good…

In the cartoon Ruben drew Erdogan with his pants down and well… “Balls deep” into the Twitter-bird. And, he’s wearing Islamic State-underwear. Official merchandise. Also, it says that “Erdogan is not a Goat F#cker”. Yep…

While the image is, admittedly, quite disrespectful – it’s considered fair play and an integral part of “Freedom of Expression” to make and publish such print in Europe. But Erdogan, who has gone after many others who have mocked him before, feels different and has filed a complaint at the Turkish court who – in return are demanding that Twitter takes off the imagery straight away.

Erdogan and the Netherlands: the Dutch response

In a response, Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security has stated that the Netherlands will not, under any circumstances, cooperate with any Turkish requests for judicial action against the cartoonist – saying: “I will not allow a foreign power to intervene with the freedom of expression in the Netherlands.”

Recently a German comedian got in trouble after insulting Erdogan is a poem read on German television, and a complaint was filed and processed against him – causing much uproar in the country. However, thankfully, no actual trial followed because the court refused and saw no justification in doing so.

It’s also not certain if the image will be taken down at all, since Twitter is an American based company, and the nation regards freedom of expression as a greater good and the company itself is also known to be defiant.


Erdogan and the Netherlands: Two Dutch Turks arrested in Greece for planning an attack on Erdogan

Two Dutch-Turkish men are currently held in Greece for planning an attack on President Erdogan with the aim of killing him. The suspects, together with seven others, have been been in Greek custody since November 28th, according to both Greek and Turkish media.

The two men, Anil S. from Amsterdam and Burak A. of Eindhoven, are part of the terrorist cell known as DHKP/C, which is quite a mouth full, which stands for “Marxist/Leninist Revolutionist People’s Liberation Party” and is active in various European countries – including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK. The group has previously committed attacks in Turkey to try and launch a revolution against the state and its “Western imperialist”-ideals – such as the West’s interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and Turkish NATO-membership.

In this particular case the men were arrested in Athens just before Erdogan came to visit December 7th and 8th in a historic move. After Greek police raided the apartment the men stayed in they found numerous weapons, including rocket launchers to attack the Turkish head of state’s convoy. Other weapons are still being sought after, including molotov cocktails and IED’s, that are thought to have been hidden in the Parnitha Mountains surrounding the Greek capital.

Currently the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to get clarity on current affairs but cannot (or will not) provide further details. It is unclear whether or not the two Dutch citizens, and their fellow would-be assassins, will be handed over to Turkish authorities. The latter being very worrying for Dutch authorities as Turkish human rights have increasingly become worse in recent years, including calls of Erdogan himself to bring back the death penalty. Though there is hope for the men, Greece so far has refused to extradite Turkish men who were part of the 2016 Failed Coup, as Greek courts considered doing so “irresponsible” because the safety of the men could not be guaranteed in Turkey.

It’s been almost a year since the Dutch-Turkish craziness in March, but Erdogan and the Netherlands still haven’t patched things up.

Bobby Salomons
Bobby Salomons
Bobby Salomons is an Amsterdam-based published author and movie-blogger holding up too many balls to juggle at once. Suffering from Tortured Artist-syndrome he is left with no choice or hope until eventually breaking through.



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