This collection is as of April 2006

Political parties, Parliament, political decision-making

General resources

Political parties, Parliament, political decision-making

See relevant parliamentary and government decisions at (European Union), (Dutch government), (Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs), and (Dutch parliament, both Chambers).

Find links to political parties and actors at and at Download a brief overview of the current distribution of seats in the Second Chamber here.

The main Dutch political parties are at,,,,,, and In 2004, Dutch MP Geert Wilders defected from the VVD and founded his own, populist-conservative party, at In 2004, all main political parties went on fact-finding missions to Turkey (except from the PvdA, which had to cancel its trip scheduled for the week where filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed).

For panel discussions, events, commentary, and the results of party-led fact-finding missions to Turkey, consult the websites of the CDA's Scientific Institute (Wetenschappelijk Instituut,, the Wiarda Beckman Stichting (, PvdA think tank) , the Alfred Mozer Stichting (; PvdA think tank and event center), and the Teldersstichting (, VVD think tank).


Party positions, politicians, views, reports, publications


Stenographic protocol of the Dutch parliament's debates on Turkey in the run-up to the key European Council decisions on Turkey in 1999 (Helsinki), 2002 (Copenhagen), and 2004 (Brussels). Download in Dutch.

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Advisory Council on International Affairs; AIV: Turkije en de Europese Unie (Towards calmer waters; a report on relations between Turkey and the European Union), 2 July 1999. "The request for advice that has occasioned the present report demonstrates the wish of the Netherlands Government to review relations with Turkey. (..) The Advisory Council notes that there is no convincing reason why Turkey should in principle be rejected as a possible member of the EU." Full report available in Dutch, English, and Turkish at or for download here.

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey and the EU – From Association to Accession. Record of the High-level Round Table Conference, 6-7 November 2003, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Hague: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Forward Strategy Unit, 2003. Book from this conference available at, inquiries

Turkey in the European Union. Consequences for Agriculture, Food, Rural Areas and Structural Policy, 1 December 2004. Research undertaken by the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, AEP, and the Agricultural Economics and Research Institute, LEI, at Wageningen University. Download report here.

Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA), then President of the EU Council of Ministers, and leader of the CDA-VVD-D66 coalition in Dutch parliament, delivered a programmatic speech on Turkey's EU accession to the EU Parliament in Strasbourg on 21 July 2004. His line was, "… that means strict application of the criteria laid down, but without inventing any new criteria." Download his speech at or download in English here.

Abdullah Gül, Turkish foreign minister, Tacan Ildem, Turkey's ambassador to The Netherlands, Walter Schwimmer, former President of the Council of Europe, Atzo Nicolaï, Dutch Minister of European Affairs, and Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, on Turkey and the EU at the 4-5 April 2004 Maastricht School of Management symposium, "Turkey and the European Union: looking beyond prejudice." The book with the proceedings of the symposium is available from Download keynote addresses in English here.

Party of Christian-Democratic Appeal (CDA): See commentary on Turkey, and the work and opinion of the successive Turkey-Rapporteurs in the European Parliament, Arie Oostlander (EP Turkey Rapporteur until 2004; CDA), and Camiel Eurlings (EP Turkey Rapporteur since 2004; CDA). Download collection of press releases, articles, and links here.

"Turkije en de Europese Unie - CDA discussienotitie. Een christen-democratisch standpunt" (Turkey in the EU - CDA Discussion Points. A Christian Democratic point of view); Foreign policy commission CDA, August 2004. This 35-page brochure (in Dutch) lays out the considerations and conclusions on the Turkish EU-accession perspective by the ruling CDA party. Ask for brochure at

CDA: René van der Linden, a member of the First Chamber of parliament in the Netherlands, President of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly (CoE), and also Chairman of the board of Trustees of the Maastricht School of Management, delivered a speech to the Turkish national assembly in Ankara on 9 November 2005 in his capacity with the CoE. Download speech in English.

People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD): co-governing party. See position on Turkey as communicated via political party website. See (in Dutch) or download here.

VVD: Newspaper article by Atzo Nicolaï, Dutch Minister for European Affairs, on the trial against Orhan Pamuk, which was eventually dropped in January 2006. EU neemt zaak–Pamuk hoog op (EU takes Pamuk Affair seriously). Nicolaï recalls that "(...) the Turkish government has always stated to not exclusively view the reforms as a means to become an EU-member, but also as an aim in itself. If that is the case, Turkey will be receptive to the EU's pressure to change the article of the penal code on which the charge against Pamuk is based." Volkskrant, 21 October 2005. Download article in Dutch at or here (in Dutch).

VVD: Frits Bolkestein, a Dutch European Commissioner until 2004, summarizes his own, pessimistic view on EU enlargement and specifically on Turkey in his book, "De grenzen van Europa" (Lannoo; Tielt 2004), or, "The Limits of Europe." (Lannoo; Tielt 2004).

Labour Party (PvdA); in opposition. Party position on Turkey as communicated via political party website. See also and the PvdA's rebuttal to the constitutional referendum, Europa: Vertrouwen Herwinnen.

Labour Party (PvdA); in opposition. Wouter Bos, leader of the PvdA and possibly the Netherlands' next prime minister, landed a recent bestseller with his vision for the Netherlands, "'Dit land kan zoveel beter." (This country can do so much better; 2005, in Dutch;). Nearly two years ago, Bos published a newspaper piece pledging not only for EU membership of Turkey, but also for closer links between Turkey and the EU to guarantee Turkey's fulfillment of the political criteria for EU accession. (18 March 2004). Download file here. Download quotes from his book on the Netherlands here.

Labour Party (PvdA): Commentator René Cuperus explains his staunch anti-Turkey opinion in a seminar in Brussels. Download here.

Green Left (Groenlinks); in opposition. See party position as communicated via political party website. See (in Dutch) or download here.

Green Left (Groenlinks); in opposition. For the policy initiatives, fact-finding missions, and commentary on Turkey and the EU by Joost Lagendijk, MEP, see

Groep Wilders (formerly VVD member); one-man opposition in the Tweedekamer. Bart J. Spruyt, senior policy advisor to Geert Wilders and also founder of the Edmund Burke Stichting, a conservative think tank, argues in the U.S.-based "Weekly Standard" that, somewhat ironically, Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk reveals that Turkey's EU ambitions might either fail or fundamentally threaten the EU's identity. Download article, "Read Pamuk's novels. They're smarter about Turkey and Europe than his political pronouncements”, 19 December 2005, here.

Tacan Ildem (Turkish Ambassador to the Netherlands), Thoughts on Turkey-EU Relations; a written contribution to the high level round-table conference on Turkey-EU Relations held in Amsterdam on 6-7 November 2003. Download in English at or download here.


The European context: The Dutch EU presidency from July through December 2004, and the European Council decision on starting accession negotiations with Turkey (17 Dec 2004)

The European context

Peter Ludlow, The Dutch Presidency of the European Union, BN 3.1. Get report at and download summary in English.

Peter Ludlow, A View from Brussels - Dealing with Turkey, The European Council of 16 -17 December 2004, Briefing Note Vol 3, N.7. This report offers a lucid, investigative, and analytic account of the European Council's process towards its resolution to start accession negotiations with Turkey. It tracks the role the Dutch presidency, its politicians, and bureaucrats had played in the process. Get report at and download summary in English.

Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Inside the Dutch Presidency Report and Essay Collection, 2004. Download guide to Dutch EU Presidency (2004) at or here.

Dutch foreign minister Ben Bot in an interview in his own CDA's magazine in the run-up to the Dutch EU-presidency in summer 2004. Download interview here in Dutch.

Monika Sie Dhian Ho, Mendeltje Van Keulen, The Dutch at the helm – navigating on a rough sea. The Netherlands 2004 Presidency of the European Union, Notre Europe Research and European Issues Nr. 34, June 2004. Sketching the agenda of the Dutch EU Presidency before its actual start in July 2004, the article describes the consultations on Turkey the Dutch government had started in 2003 already. Download article (in English) here.

Peter van Ham, The Dutch Presidency: An Assessment. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 43, No. S1, pp. 59-62, September 2005. Van Ham, of the Clingendael Institute, describes the Dutch EU Presidency's policy determination and process on Turkey as "the pearl of the Presidency." See abstract of the article here.


Economics and Business

General resources

Economics and Business

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs is at The Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is at The Dutch chamber of commerce is at, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers at The Dutch Trade Union Centre is at The Dutch central bank, "De Nederlandsche Bank", with its outspoken President Nout Wellink is at The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis is at


Reports, views, and publications from the Dutch economic perspective


Charles Kalshoven, Serdar Kücükakin, Frank Vinke, Opportunities beyond the Bosphorus – Exploring growth, FDI and trade flows in view of Turkey's EU-accession (commissioned by the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs), ABN-Amro, May 2004. See or download here.

Sociaal-Economische Raad (SER), De komende uitbreiding van de EU, in het bijzonder de toetreding van Turkije (The pending enlargement of the EU, with particular emphasis on the accession of Turkey), 8 November 2004. Download full Dutch report or English summary at

A.M. Lejour, R.A. de Mooij, C.H. Chapel, The economic implications of Turkish accession, Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis, CPB Nr. 56, March 2004. Download report at or here.

A.M. Lejour, R.A. de Mooij, Turkish Delight – Does Turkey's accession to the EU bring economic benefits?, Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis, CPB; Download report at or here.

Antony Burgmans, the chairman of Unilever, presents his views and his action program for the Dutch presidency in an interview with the NRC Handelsblad on 27 July 2004. The first point of his action list is, "Turkey to join the EU." As chairman of the enlargement working group of the "European Round Table", Burgmans set out his EU enlargement vision and the role of business in this process in several articles in 2003. Download an English translation of the 2004 interview here.

Victor Halberstadt, professor of economics at Leiden University, has for years moderated the Turkey panels at the World Economic Forum in Davos and is also a board member at Koç University, Istanbul. See more at

René van der Linden and Joan ter Haar, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Maastricht School of Management's Board of Trustees (MSM), have been deeply involved with Turkey, and are currently actively promoting EU-Turkish exchange of people and ideas. Co-operating with Koç University in Istanbul, they are currently planning a Turkey Centre at the MSM. See

Turks own most enterprises among immigrant communities in the Netherlands. This summary of "Ondernemersprofiel 2004" by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Sept 2004) shows Turks as the most entrepreneurial immigrant group in the Netherlands.
Download full report (in Dutch) or press release/summary (in Dutch) at or download summary here.


Civil society and academia: resources and initiatives

General resources

Civil society and academia

For recent and ongoing Dutch initiatives exploring and intensifying academic, cultural, and direct links with Turkey, consult the publications and events at the Rode Hoed Foundation in Amsterdam (, the Felix Meritis Foundation (, and the Frieda Menco Foundation ( For debate evenings in several Dutch cities, sometimes tackling Turkey and the EU, and often involving ministers or diplomats, check "Politiek Cafe" ( The Amsterdam-based European Cultural Foundation ( has been forging relations with Turkish artists and cultural policymakers in several cities in Turkey. Dragan Klaic, an expert on international culture associated with the Felix Meritis Foundation, published the findings of his recent field research on Istanbul's cultural infrastructure at Download report here.

A major Turkey exhibition, accompanied by panel discussions and participatory events, will be opened in mid-December 2006 at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam Nationale Stichting/International Exhibition Centre, On further cultural links and activities, check the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, and the Rotterdam-based Stichting Nederland-Turkije under the directorate of Jan Jonker Roelants.

Several Dutch initiatives for academic exchange, inter-disciplinary debate, and intensified cooperation with Turkish counterparts are currently underway (2006). The Netherlands' premier expert on Turkish Islam, Erik Jan Zürcher of Leiden University, at ("Turkology Update Leiden Project"), has joint forces with Lily Sprangers of the Germany Institute at the University of Amsterdam to start European-Turkish university and research cooperation (Leiden University; Bosporus University). The Maastricht School of Management Studies,, already cooperating with Koç University, plans to establish a Turkey Centre in late 2006 or early 2007. A graduate student group at Amsterdam University organized a conference for Turkish and Dutch graduate students on Turkey in December 2005 in Amsterdam. (contact Doutje Lettinga;

For ongoing research on military and security issues with and in Turkey, see (Groningen University). For projections on the impact of Turkish EU accession on European agriculture, see (Wageningen University). The Leiden-based International Institute For The Study Of Islam In The Modern World (ISIM; hosts experts and fellows on the topic and publishes the ISIM Review on debates and research on contemporary Muslim societies and communities (in English). The Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC;, a Leiden-based non-profit organization, is currently embarking on judicial cooperation and assistance projects with Turkey.

For extensive media dossiers on Turkey, the Netherlands, and the EU, see the link at VPRO and at NOS

Dutch initiatives signing up youngsters for new ways and formats of political participation include Cool Politics,, Happy Chaos,, and The Frieda Menco Foundation, Amsterdam's active Muslim youth – involving Turks, Moroccans, Lebanese, Tunisians, and others – organizes regular panel debates and tackles contentious issues among 2nd generation immigrants. See


Documents, reports, and articles


Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), The European Union, Turkey and Islam, Amsterdam University Press, 2004 (includes survey, Searching for the Fault-Line, by E.J. Zürcher and H. van der Linden). The key report in the run-up to the Dutch EU Presidency in 2004, which demonstrates why Turkish Islam does not per se preclude EU membership. Download full report (in English or Dutch) at or here.

Wendy Asbeek Brusse, WRR, The Netherlands and Turkey’s bid for EU membership. The English translation of this essay is a kind courtesy of the author. It is one of 13 essays on different EU countries' debates on Turkey and the EU from the German-language book, Giannakopoulos, Angelos, and Maras, Konstadinos (ed.), Die Türkei-Debatte in Europa. Ein Vergleich. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Konstanz: 2005. Download Netherlands essay by Wendy Asbeek Brusse in English.

"Wiertz versus Outshoorn": Bishop Frans Wiertz, Verschil tussen Turkije en EU is te groot, - against Turkey in the EU – in the Volkskrant daily newspaper, 24 November 2005, and a reply – for Turkey in the EU – by Eric Outshoorn, editor at the Volkskrant, on 29 November 2005. Download the two articles in Dutch.

Rob Boudewijn and Peter van Grinsven, Geloofwaardigheid boven sentimenten (Authenticity above sentiments), Internationale Spectator, LVIII – nr 9, September 2004. The two Clingendael scholars write that (...) "the Netherlands must bring forward the argument that there is no alternative but opening negotiations with Turkey with the provision of full membership in the future." See or download here (in Dutch).

Rob Boudewijn and Peter van Grinsven, Geloofwaardigheid boven sentimenten (Authenticity above sentiments), Internationale Spectator, LVIII – nr 9, September 2004. The two Clingendael scholars write that (...) "the Netherlands must bring forward the argument that there is no alternative but to open negotiations with Turkey with the provision of full membership in the future See or download here (in Dutch).

Christine Pawlata, Unified Europe? Dutch newspaper coverage about the EU enlargement and its influence on public opinion. Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Maatschappij– en Gedragswetenschappen, M.A. Communicatiewetenschap, October 25, 2004. For related studies, also specifically on Turkey and the EU in the Dutch media, follow the work and coming publications of Hajo Boomgaarden and Claes de Vreese at the same institute. Download enlargement and media study download here (in English).


Public attitudes in The Netherlands: polls, surveys, empirical studies

Public attitudes

Surveys, studies, reports, and statistics on Turks in the Netherlands, the migrant community in general, and Dutch public opinion on Turks and Turkey in the EU, are available from the Algemene Rekenkamer (, the Institute for Socio-Economic Research (ISEO; now SEOR) at Rotterdam's Erasmus University, the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) at the University of Amsterdam, and Forum – the Institute for Multicultural Development ( For opinion polls, check Maurice de Hond's website at, as well as the work by Hans Anker.

Maurice de Hond polling: On 23 August 2004 and on 3 October 2005, Dutch polling "guru" Maurice de Hond asked Dutch voters on their opinion towards Turkey and the EU, Austria's position, and Croatia's start of negotiatons. He dissects Dutch voters by party affiliation based on the 2003 parliamentary vote. See or download the two surveys here (in Dutch; English).

Eurobarometer 63.4 Netherlands, country report summary after polling in May and June 2005, download full report (in Dutch) and see full Eurobarometer archive at Download summary in English here.

Eurobarometer "Flash", EB172, "The European Constitution: Post-Referendum in the Netherlands." Specific polling on reasons for Dutch voting behavior in the EU constitution referendum in 2005. See or download report in English.


The Dutch context of immigration, integration, and Islam

General resources


Key platforms of Dutch Turks are Forum, the Institute for Cultural Development (, the Turkish student organization at Rotterdam's Erasmus University (, and the Dutch umbrella network for Turkish students ( The Dutch branch of Milli Görüs has been co-designing legislation on a plethora of social and political issues, and is famous for its liberal and progressive leadership under Haci Karacaer.


Reports, studies, statistics, and expert views


Jaarrapport Integratie 2005, Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek, numbers on Turks in The Netherlands, immigration flows, level of education, Dutch language skills, and work participation. Download full report (in Dutch) at or here (in Dutch).

Rinus Penninx, After the Fortuyn and van Gogh murders: Is the Dutch integration model in disarray? Lecture in the International Seminar for Experts "Integrating Migrants in Europe – Comparing the Different National Approaches". Organized by the Cicero Foundation in the series Great Debates, Paris, 9 – 10 June 2005. Download in English.

Rinus Penninx, Integration processes of migrants in the European Union and policies relating to integration. Presentation for the Conference on Population Challenges, International Migration and Reproductive Health in Turkey and the European Union: Issues and Policy Implications, held in Istanbul, 11/12 October 2004. Download in English.

Paul Schnabel and Henk Don (project coordinators), Destination Europe – Immigration and Integration in the European Union, Annex to the State of the European Union 2005. A comprehensive overview on immigration flows, economic effects, and European public support for immigration, social integration, and EU policies. Download in English.

Jan Herman Brinks, Between Mohammed and Mammon. Muslims in the Netherlands, ifri Immigration & Refugees, see (18 October 2005) or download in English.

Jessica ter Waal, Active civic participation of immigrants in the Netherlands, March 2005. Ter Waal, of the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Utrecht University, looks at evolving types of self-organization and mobilization of political and social identities within the Dutch migrant population. She also maps research competences in the Netherlands in this field, including institutions, names, and contact addresses. Download her article in English.


Book suggestions


Andeweg, Rudy B., Irwin, Galen A., Governance and Politics of the Netherlands, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Douwes, Dick (ed.): Naar een Europese islam" (in Dutch; Amsterdam 2001). A widely praised series of essays on the position and future of Islam in Europe.

Geert Mak; "Gedoemd tot kwetsbaarheid", Uitgeverij Augustus, Amsterdam 2005 (also available in German; "Der Mord an Theo van Gogh", suhrkamp, Frankfurt 2005).

Giannakopoulos, Angelos, and Maras, Konstadinos (ed.): Die Türkei-Debatte in Europa. Ein Vergleich. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Konstanz: 2005 (in German).

Leen Sterckx, Caroline Bouw: "Liefde op maat" (in Dutch; Amsterdam 2005). This book explores why young Dutch Turks and Moroccans still tend to marry partners within their own communities.

Van der Horst, Han. The Low Sky - Understanding the Dutch. Scriptum Publishers, 2001.

Turkey Debate in the Netherlands