Muslim nations take border-crossing responsibility for how kids are raised? Perhaps Erdoğan should take responsibility for human rights abuse and the jailing of journalists in Turkey. Watchdog calls on gov’t to free activists, scribes.

Turkey, Dutch leaders spar over boy’s foster case

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (Charlotte Observer) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte bluntly rejected an appeal Thursday by his Turkish counterpart for ministerial-level talks over the case of a boy taken from his Turkish parents in the Netherlands and placed in the foster care of a lesbian couple.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was visiting the Netherlands to boost trade and mark four centuries of diplomatic relations between the two countries. But the spat over the 9-year-old boy, identified only as Yunus, overshadowed the day-long visit.

Erdoğan said placing a child from a Muslim background with lesbians could breach his nation’s “moral and religious values.” He said talks between ministries in the two countries that oversee child care could “prevent this kind of problem so the strong relationship between our countries is not weakened.”

But Rutte told reporters: “The placing of Dutch foster children is the responsibility of the Netherlands alone. Nobody else.”

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In a joint press conference with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Erdoğan told reporters:

    “We should hand over Yunus to secure hands. If we say `a six-month child cannot make such a decision
     so it is the judiciary who decides,’ then this could lead to us to a big mistake.”

Yunus was removed from his biological parents’ care in the Netherlands while 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 Erdoğan 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.

Turkey is a Muslim-majority state with a largely secular political history, but many Turks nonetheless are conservative on issues such as homosexuality.

Erdoğan’s political party has Islamist roots, and 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.

Dutch lesbian couple in hiding with foster son after biological parents’ protest on Turkish TV

(HuffPost) – 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.”

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. 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.