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Dutch Foreign Ministry tightens travel advisory for Turkey, highlights phone searches

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The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Turkey on Monday to warn Dutch travelers regarding cell phone searches and free speech issues.

The ministry said phones and other electronic devices may be subject to searches at the airports and that statements made on social media can lead to prosecution.

It also warned citizens about insult laws in Turkey including the prohibition of insulting the president and urged caution for those who made such political comments on social media and who are considering visiting the country.

“Dutch nationals with Turkish nationality in particular may be confronted with questioning or prosecution when entering and during their stay in Turkey,” the travel advice read.

The ministry also emphasized that dual citizens are treated as Turkish nationals in Turkey and that the Dutch Embassy in Ankara is not always notified or allowed to provide consular services in the event of a problem.

The update came after Ahmet Tuna Altınel, a mathematician from France’s Lyon University, was arrested by a Turkish court on Saturday on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda.

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs released a statement on Monday expressing concern over the arrest.

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