Hague: Neighbors upset about Turkish festival on Queen's Day

Hague: Neighbors upset about Turkish festival on Queen's Day

Residents of Transvaal in the Hague are upset a Turkish cultural event is planned to start in Wijkpark Transvaal on Queen's Day of all days.

"Queen's Day is simply being bartered away," said an angry man who lives by the park. "I'm proud that we live in a country where tolerance reigns, but this festival is in Turkish and for and by Turks. That isn't suited for a national holiday like Queen's Day. The day has a certain character and is for everybody. You shouldn't organize any event that is only aimed at a limited group of Turks."

The event is organized by the Turkish Islamic Cultural Foundation, and is part of the Turkish Cultural Days, which is being held April 30 and May 1 and 2. The program includes Turkish music, folklore, dance and food.

"Outrageous1" says a perplexed resident. "We have in this country one big national festival, and that's Queen's Day. That's disappearing now." "I have no problem with a Turkish festival, but all the Dutch people are celebrating Queen's Day. Let that stay that way!" according to another baffled neighbor.

Chairman Tahsin Cetinkaya of the Turkish Islamic Cultural Foundation is not aware of any anger. "We are part of Dutch society. With such a festival we can build a bridge between the cultures." He says attention will be devoted to Queen's Day on the first day of the three day event. "We're be putting on orange and hanging up Dutch flags."

Meanwhile, neighbors of the park don't understand why the municipality in the Hague grants a permit for a Turkish event on Queen's Day. "That the municipality abandons such a day!" one neighborhood residents asks.

According to a municipality spokesperson, there was no reason not to grant a permit. "The permit is granted if the organizer can show that he can organize the party in an orderly and secure manner. That it's taking place on Queen's Day is no reason to refuse a permit."

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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