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May 14 2019

Netherlands warns Turkey travellers on cell phones, social media use

Dutch foreign ministry on Monday updated its travel advice for Turkey, saying that cell phones can be checked at Turkish airports and statements on social media are punishable in the country.

"In the case of controls by the Turkish authorities, if there is suspicion of involvement in organisations that Turkey considers to be terrorist, your telephone or other electronic equipment can be examined at airports, among other places," the statement said.

Dutch nationals with Turkish nationality, in particular, can be faced with interrogation when entering and during their stay in Turkey, according to the ministry.

"The Turkish authorities can also prosecute you for statements made outside Turkey, including on social media," the travel advice said.

Hundreds of people have been detained and prosecuted by Turkish authorities over social media posts, according to 2018 Human Rights Watch report. In 2017, a Dutch Turkish national was arrested in Turkey for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after his remarks on social media criticising the political situation in the country and describing Erdoğan as a thief and a traitor.