Diplomatic pressure has not helped get Eindhoven-based SP (Socialist Party) Councillor, Murat Memis, back to the Netherlands.
The politician has been stuck in Turkey since the end of April. He is no longer in a police cell, but authorities have confiscated his passport and he, therefore, can not leave the country. Turkey suspects Memis of being a member of the Kurdish PKK. Europe, Turkey, and the United States see this group as a terrorist organisation.
Eindhoven’s Mayor, John Jorritsma, had been in close consultation with the SP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs behind closed doors in recent weeks. “For a long time, we had hoped diplomatic pressure would ensure Mr Memis’ return to the Netherlands. Premature publication on this matter would not have done his case any good. A lot of people in the Netherlands and Turkey now know of his restriction of freedom”, Jorritsma says.
Memis will soon appear before a Turkish judge again. His family has since returned home. The Department of Foreign Affairs is involved in the case. It is trying to get Memis back to the Netherlands using diplomatic means.
Memis has a Kurdish background. He was also President of the Kurdish Association in the Netherlands. He has repeatedly criticised Turkey’s attitude towards the Kurdish minority in the country.
Editor: Melinda Walraven