Turkish embassy sends out directive: Report any insult to Erdogan

Ankara's consulate in Rotterdam has sent out an email requesting that Turkish organizations report any insults made against the Turkish president.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends the opening session of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris (photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends the opening session of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ankara’s consulate in Rotterdam has requested that Turkish organizations in the Netherlands report on any derogatory statements made about the Turkish president, according to reports by The Washington Post.
“We ask urgently for the names and written comments of people who have given derogatory, disparaging, hateful and defamatory statements against the Turkish president, Turkey and Turkish society in general,” read the email according to a BBC translation.
According to the Washington Post, the email sparked an uproar in the Netherlands and the Dutch prime minister demanded an explanation.
The Turkish embassy defended the email, claiming its message had been misunderstood.
The consulate claimed the government was requesting reports on hate speech incidents and racism.
This incident comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded earlier this month that Germany press charges against comedian Jan Boehmermann after he recited a poem about the Turkish leader in a show on another public broadcaster, ZDF, suggesting he beats little girls, watches child pornography and engages in bestiality.
Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to allow prosecutors to pursue the case against Boehmermann under a section of the German criminal code that prohibits insults against foreign leaders but leaves it to the government to decide whether to authorize such cases.
Additionally on Sunday, a prominent Dutch journalist was detained by Turkish police, a Dutch official said, a week after she wrote a column published in the Netherlands in which she criticized Erdogan for his clampdown on dissent.
Columnist Ebru Umar, who is of Turkish descent and an outspoken critic of Erdogan, was detained by police overnight in Turkey where she was on holiday.
A spokesman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry confirmed that Umar had been detained by police.
“We are aware of this and we are following the situation closely. We are in contact with her,” he said. He declined to give further details.
Last week she wrote an article in the free newspaper Metro criticizing a Turkish consular official in the Netherlands for asking all Turks to report incidents of insults against Erdogan in the country.
The call was widely criticized, including by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and was later withdrawn.
Umar called Erdogan a “dictator” in the article.
On her official Twitter account, Umar tweeted overnight: “Police in front of the door. No joke.” She later tweeted that she was being taken to a police station in Kusadasi, a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast.
Reuters contributed to this report.