Dutch-Kurd Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius to lead Rutte's VVD Party

"It is a tremendous honor to lead the VVD. Thank you for your trust!"
The Minister of Justice of the Netherlands Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius speaks to reporters at Erbil Citadel, May 18, 2022. (Photo: Screengrab/Kurdistan 24)
The Minister of Justice of the Netherlands Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius speaks to reporters at Erbil Citadel, May 18, 2022. (Photo: Screengrab/Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, a Dutch Minister of Justice and Security with a Kurdish-Turkish background, has assumed leadership of the liberal-conservative People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) party.

"It is a tremendous honor to lead the VVD. Thank you for your trust!" Yeşilgöz posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

The official account of the VVD on the social media platform X also confirmed that she became the party leader, and called on people to join the party. 

Yeşilgöz-Zegerius took over leadership after no other nominees emerged to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the conservative VVD, who stepped down in July.

On July 12, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius announced her intention to lead the VVD in the Dutch parliamentary elections this autumn.

She also previously told the Dutch Telegraaf newspaper that is ready to become the next Dutch PM.

Read More: Outgoing Dutch PM Rutte hopes Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius wins future elections

The departing Dutch PM Rutte told Kurdistan 24 earlier that he naturally hopes Yeşilgöz-Zegerius will become the next PM, "but that's up to the voters."

"She is from my party, and she's the best, but we will see what happens," he informed Kurdistan 24 correspondent Barzan Hassan.

Born in Ankara in 1977, Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius married René Zegerius in the Netherlands, where she has spent most of her life. Her father, Yücel Yesilgöz, was a Kurdish native of Dersim, seeking refuge in the Netherlands after a Turkish military coup in 1984.

Read More: Netherlands eyes judicial cooperation with Kurdistan Region on ISIS crimes: Justice Minister

She currently holds the position of Minister of Justice and Security and paid a two-day visit to the Kurdistan Region in May 2022, during which she met with top leaders.