Over 1,200 Belgians blacklisted by Turkey

Over 1,200 Belgian citizens are no longer allowed to enter Turkey, after the have been blacklisted by the country. It is not clear which people exactly are targeted, and why, but the majority of them are Belgians of Turkish descent.

The Belgian authorities have discussed the matter with Turkey, and asked for the permission to have access to the list. They also want to know more about the exact criteria that were being used to compile the list.

It is not clear who is on the list, and why, but there are rumours that the persons involved may have insulted the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Recently, a Dutch journalist was apprehended in Turkey after she had written an article criticizing the president. She was later released.

Intimidation

According to De Standaard, the 1,224 people involved are mostly Belgians with Turkish roots. Some told De Standaard (anonymously) that they are being intimidated by the Turkish authorities if they dare to go against Erdogan.

In Turkey, Erdogan set up an "army" of so-called internet trolls to conduct internet hate campaigns against opponents of the regime. They also look for voices which are critical of the present Erdogan regime. It is believed that the same practices are gaining ground here, De Standaard writes.