A couple from Amsterdam are furious that their new baby Friso has been given Turkish nationality by city civil servants against their express wishes, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.The couple in question are Suzan and Vincent van Saase, hence the baby's full name is Friso van Saase, about as Dutch a name as there is (what with the 'van' and all). Yet a civil servant of Amsterdam city council decided that since one of Friso's grandparents (Suzan's father) is Turkish, Friso should be a Turk as well. When Suzan inquired why Friso was made Turkish in the Amsterdam council administration, the answer she got was: 'Such is the Turkish law'.
The child is entitled to be Turkish because his maternal grandfather is Turkish. But his parents are strongly opposed because they do not want their son to have to undergo military service with the Turkish army.
Earlier this week, the Telegraaf reported that civil servants in Amsterdam are registering children born in the Netherlands as Moroccan with the Moroccan consul, without being asked to do so by their parents.
This immediately begs the question why Amsterdam city council should busy itself upholding Turkish law in the Netherlands. Indeed, this is what Suzan wanted to know, but an answer to that question (repeated three times) was never provided.
You may well think: So what? An extra passport can be very handy. But in this case it has some real world consequences, not least of which is that poor Friso, because of his Turkish nationality, upon reaching the age of 18, will be called up for service in the Turkish army (which is still conscription based).
In the mean time, the whole scandal is heaped upon the head of the hapless civil servant, who is said to be of the 'overzealous kind'. But some minor quibbles remain. For instance: civil servants the world over (and Dutch civil servants are no exception) are not prone to initiative. If there is no law or directive or guideline expressly allowing something, a civil servant will not do it.
So, no matter how overzealous the civil servant in question might be, I very much doubt he or she was acting on his/her own initiative. There must be a guideline circulating around Amsterdam that tells civil servants that if a child has Turkish (or Moroccan) forebears, it automatically is also of that nationality. Irrespective of parents wishes. Who wrote that guideline? And why? Does that guideline cover all nationalities?
What strikes me about this behavior is the fact that if this is (Dutch) law, then we have a law that is aimed at slowly eradicating the Dutch nationality. A sort of Neuremburg law in reverse. Is this how we will complete the construction of multicultural society in the Netherlands? One double passport at a time?