AMSTERDAM — A Dutch lesbian couple have gone into hiding with their foster son after the boy’s biological parents said on television in Turkey that they object to the pair taking care of their child.
The matter is threatening to overshadow an official visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Netherlands next week. Lodewijk Asscher, the Dutch vice prime minister, told reporters Friday that the issue is an internal Dutch matter and that political interference from Turkey is “inappropriate.”
The 9-year-old boy identified by his first name, Yunus, was removed from his biological parents’ care — in the Netherlands — while he was still a baby, and eventually placed in the care of the lesbian couple, who live in The Hague.
His biological mother, Nurgul Azeroglu, appeared on a Turkish television program earlier this month and called on Erdogan to intervene in the case. She acknowledged having accidentally dropped the child from a poorly fastened carrying bag once — apparently part of the reason he was removed from her care.
Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported that two other children were also to be taken away from the family in 2008, but they then traveled to Turkey to prevent that from happening.
Prominent Turkish politicians have recently spoken out against children of Turkish ancestry being raised by Christians, homosexuals, or others whose values are rejected by their biological parents.Asscher praised the foster parents for taking on a “child in danger” and defended Dutch social service policies.
“The selection of a foster family in the Netherlands is a careful process,” he said. “We don’t choose foster parents on the basis of race or heritage, but on whether a child is in good hands with them.”
Child social services in The Hague said there was no specific threat against Yunus or his foster parents, but he has been kept home from school as a precaution since the interview aired.
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