Lilianne Ploumen, minister of foreign trade and development cooperation in the Netherlands, has said around 20 people who have both Dutch and Turkish citizenship are not allowed to leave Turkey.

In remarks that appeared in the Dutch media, Ploumen sought to clarify claims that appeared in the Dutch media last week claiming that up to 100 Dutch nationals of Turkish descent are being barred from leaving Turkey.

She said the number of Dutch citizens of Turkish origin who are not allowed to leave Turkey is around 20 not 100.

“These people have sought assistance from our embassy in Ankara. We are working on a solution for these people but it is difficult to talk about the existence of a solution under the current circumstances in Turkey,” she said.

Dutch public broadcaster NOS claimed in a report last week that the people who were barred from leaving Turkey were on holiday or on a trip to see their families in Turkey.

The most common characteristic linking members of the group is that they have been publicly critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, NOS underlined, adding that some of the people affected are followers of the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt.

It has become a common occurrence in the recent period that Turkey cancels passports of dissidents including academics, journalists, lawyers, judges and businessmen.

Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands became strained when The Hague refused to allow two Turkish ministers into the country for a political speech ahead of Turkey’s upcoming referendum.

(Turkish Minute)