Scandalous headlines are appearing in Azerbaijan and Turkey following the Dutch court ruling to grant adoption of 2 Azeri children to a local lesbian couple. Apparently, Azeri parents, who are residing in Netherlands, were deprived of parental rights after death of one of their children, being accused by Dutch authorities in child abuse, claim disputed by Azeri-Turkish circles.
Azeri-Turkish cultural society in Netherlands voiced its “objection” against that decision citing ‘cultural values’, i.e. that adoption of children by same-sex couple is unacceptable by Turkish or Azeri “culture and traditions” (Day.az and APA). “We can not guarantee that the same will not happen tomorrow to any other Turkish family.” “We respect the decision of the court, but we can not accept it, because this situation is contrary to our culture and traditions.” They threatened civil actions against adoption ruling. They also expressed “gratitude to Turkish Prime Minister Rejep Tayyip Erdoghan for taking stance on this issue”, although it is not clear what exactly Erdogan’s intervention, if any, was.
They perhaps ‘forgot’ in which country they reside in (Netherlands), and that ‘cultural values’ is not a legal category. I can never understand people, regardless of nationality, who are settling in other countries, looking for a “better life”, perfectly aware of more than apparent “cultural differences”, and then demand restriction of prevalent freedoms and human rights in a society where they moved to, instead of contributing to it by adding their own cultural input.
It has to be noted that while one Azeri agency (APA) mentions “Azerbaijani children”, another one (Day.az) reports about “Turkish children”. There are other inconsistencies in these reports too. For example, at the beginning of its report, Day.az cites Dutch court decision to grant adoption rights to a lesbian couple. However, towards the end of the same report, the agency mentions – without providing any clarifications - about July court case which allowed return of children to their biological parents. Moreover, if we trust Day.az, these children are now with their grandfather in Turkey “undergoing a course of treatment”. Pretty confusing reporting, to say the least.