Flemish party says dual citizens must not be barred from renouncing one of their nationalities
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Flemish party says dual citizens must not be barred from renouncing one of their nationalities

Credit: © Belga

Belgium should advocate for the right of its dual citizens to renounce one of their nationalities if they do not wish to be attached to obligations in a foreign country, according to a Flemish party.

A lawmaker with the centre-right CD&V party submitted a motion urging Belgium to start negotiations with countries like Turkey, Morocco, Greece or Canada to give their dual citizens the right to freely determine their national status.

“The Belgian government must start discussions with countries such as Turkey and Morocco,” MP Nahima Lanjri said in parliament.

The motion follows reports that 12 Belgo-Turkish nationals have been detained in Turkey since August 2018, De Morgen reports.

Guslum Cetinkaya, a Belgo-Turkish student enrolled in the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) was among those reported to be held by Turkish authorities after visiting Turkey in the summer of 2019.

Cetinkaya, 27, was arrested at the Turkish-Bulgarian border over a series of Facebook publications made years before her trip to Turkey, which included references to the Kurds, a stateless nation at conflict with the Turkish government.

Countries like Greece or Turkey only allow citizens to renounce their nationality if they have done a mandatory military service, which they must complete even if they live in another country.

The motion is set to be discussed in the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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