Turkish Canal Parade participants receive threats

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

The people who sailed on the Turkish boat in Amsterdam's Gay Pride Canal Parade on Saturday have received threats. Amsterdam police say the threats have appeared on internet forums and personal Facebook pages. "Some of the texts are very shocking," says police spokesperson Ellie Lust.

On one of the Facebook pages, someone threatened to throw petrol on the participants and set them on fire. "These people should be hanged," wrote another person. "Then the world would be clean."

It was the first time a Turkish boat took part in Canal Parade. Some of the people on board the Turkish boat wore tall white hats and danced the sema, a ritual dance from the religious city of Konya in southern Turkey. Others draped themselves in the Turkish flag, an act which many Dutch people of Turkish origin find unacceptable.

The Dutch gay rights organisation, COC, has urged the people who sailed on the Turkish boat to file a complaint with the police. "We know that homosexuality is sensitive in the Turkish community," says COC chairperson Vera Bergkamp, "but this is going too far". Fatma Koser Kaya, a Dutch MP of Turkish origin, says the threats are "unacceptable". She also sailed on the boat but has not received any threats.

Watch a video report about the Turkish boat.