Turkey arrests Dutch tourist

A banner with a picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is waved by protesters outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, March 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Amsterdam following the banning of Turkish government ministers entering the Netherlands is now affecting tourists.

According to Kurdish news agency Rudaw, a Dutch tourist, Anthony Willehm, was arrested at Turkey’s southeastern Uzumlu border gate while he was trying to go to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

Anthony Willehm at the Turkey border gate

Willehm was kept at the border gate for hours and taken to the border city of Hakkari later. Ercan Zent, a friend of Willehm’s, said that the Dutch citizen was taken into custody without any justification even though all of his documents were ready.

 

Speaking to Rudaw, Ercan Zent said, “We were going to Southern Kurdistan for touristic purposes. The Turkish officers did not stop any other foreigners except our Dutch friend.”

At the border gate, a peshmerga who spoke English was brought from the other side of the border to help in translation for the imprisoned tourist. According to the statements of Zent, the Turkish officers at the border gate were discussing assaulting the Dutch tourist with batons.

“One of the specialist sergeants said that ‘they attacked us with dogs in Rotterdam, let’s attack him with batons’ when he realised Willehm is from the Netherlands,” apparently in reference to the diplomatic crisis between the two countries during which Dutch police used force to disperse Turkish protesters in Rotterdam.