Federal secretary of state to renounce Turkish nationality


Belgian-born Zuhal Demir has requested that her Turkish nationality be terminated, citing a lack of political and personal affiliation with the country

‘The love affair is over’

Zuhal Demir, the federal secretary of state for equal opportunities and poverty issues, has announced her intention to renounce her Turkish citizenship. The decision was made, she said, because of developments the country where her parents were born.

Demir (N-VA) was born in Belgium to parents who are Turkish Kurds. Anyone born to Turkish parents outside of Turkey is automatically a Turkish citizen.

“I don’t recognise myself in the country where my parents grew up,” Demir (pictured) told De Morgen in an interview published at the weekend. “The gap has grown too wide. The growing influence of Islam, the position of women, democracy and minorities: It’s all going in the wrong direction.”

She has already applied to the Turkish consulate to renounce her citizenship. Although she meets all the conditions for renunciation, the procedure is not a foregone conclusion. It is possible, she said, that the Turkish government will refuse her application because of her prominent position and the publicity given to her case.

“But at least then I will have made it clear that the love affair is over,” she said.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA