The Union of European Turkish Democrats (known as “the UETD”) are organising a gathering on Wednesday evening, to take place at the Hôtel Métropole in Brussels. This is a meeting aiming to pay respects to the fallen “martyrs” during the attempted coup d’état, which took place on July 15th, 2016 in Turkey. The Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, has confirmed that he will attend this event.
The UETD, which is campaigning for closer ties between Ankara and Europe, is an NGO. Numerous members of the UETD may possibly favour the AKP led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Moreover, the organisation has already invited elected members from this political party to Belgium.
The Brussels division of the UETD says that the meeting anticipated for Wednesday is however “not political”, stating that this is “simply to commemorate the events which took place a year ago.”
Around 150 individuals are expected at this contemplation and meditation, which is due to take place at 7 p.m. There will be a photographic exhibition on the Place Jean Rey, within the European Quarter, as a prelude to the commemoration.
The Netherlands and Austria have already indicated that Turkish ministers invited to similar meetings in their country were indeed were not welcome. In Belgium, no views of this sort have been held and the prohibition of the event, owing to a potential risk of violence between Erdogan’s supporters and opposition factions, is not on the agenda.
The crisis centre OCAM (the organisation for terrorist threat analysis) is analysing the level of the potential threat and sending their observations to the local authorities. Such authorities may possibly ultimately decide to prohibit the event, if this presents a danger to public order.
The department for the Minister for the Interior, Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance), asserts that the situation is routinely and closely monitored. The Ministry of the Interior emphasises that there is no question of Turkey’s internal conflicts being brought into Belgium.
The Brussels Times