Sunday, 16 November 2014

Why the Netherlands should welcome a Party for the Turks

Last week, in between the national debate/civil war surrounding Zwarte Piet, the Labour Party
Selçuk Öztürk and Tunuhan Kuzu Foto ANP / Martijn Beekman
expelled two of its MPs. Tunuhan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk broke party ranks to criticise Labour Minister for Immigration Lodewijk Asscher and parliamentary spokesman Ahmed Marcouch. They believed that their criticism against Turkish integration movements showed the party favoured assimilation instead of integration. A few days later the media uncovered that the two MPs had conflicted with the Labour party management for a long time already and that they wished to form a political movement for the Turkish-Dutch community. In the wake of these events, many pundits have commented that these MPs are 'radicalised' and that they are puppets of the Turkish state. Kuzu and Öztürk have been immediately discredited as 'foreigners' and 'outsiders' by the national media. I think that these comments are extremely unhelpful, and instead we should welcome this new movement with open arms.