Turkey detains second Dutch journalist in as many days-UPDATE

Frederinke Geerdink was taken to Diyarbakir police headquarters to make a statement. Turkey detains second Dutch journalist in as many days.

Turkey detains second Dutch journalist in as many days-UPDATE
World Bulletin / News Desk
A Dutch journalist was detained Tuesday in southeast Turkey for allegedly disseminating propaganda for the PKK.

Frederike Geerdink was taken to Diyarbakir police headquarters to make a statement on an order from the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor's office.

Sources made no further statement over Geerdink's detention. 

Geerdink, based in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey, tweeted that police had searched her home and she was being detained for "propaganda for a terrorist organisation". The Dutch Foreign Minister, visiting Ankara, said he was shocked.

Geerdink tweeted three hours later that she had been freed after giving a statement to police. The head of the bar association in Diyarbakir told Reuters the case was connected to Geerdink's tweets and other issues but did not elaborate.

Geerdink reports for Dutch radio and newspapers including Het Parool in the Netherlands and Britain's Independent.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, who is due to meet his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, said on Twitter: "Shocked at the arrest of @fgeerdink. Will bring this up personally with my colleague Cavusoglu here in Ankara."

Geerdink, a freelancer based in Turkey since 2006, is the author of "De jongens zijn dood" ("The Boys Are Dead"), a book published last year that examines the 2011 bombing by Turkish military planes that killed 35 Kurdish civilians.

Turkey is negotiating an end to a three-decade conflict with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which declared a ceasefire in 2013, and has eased restrictions on media coverage of issues including language rights and political representation.


Turkey detains second Dutch journalist in as many days

Turkish authorities on Wednesday briefly detained a second Dutch journalist in as many days amid growing concern that media freedom in the country is under threat.

Mehmet Ulgur, a Dutch citizen of Turkish background, was arrested at an Istanbul airport, the Dutch Journalists' Association said. He was released after questioning, but ordered to attend court on January 21.

His detention follows that of Frederike Geerdink, a freelance reporter specialising in Kurdish issues, who was questioned and later released on Tuesday.

The detentions coincided with a visit to Turkey by Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders, who said on Tuesday that he was shocked by the first incident. "Intimidation of journalists is unacceptable," he said.

Ulgur, a documentary-maker, was taken aside while queuing for a passport check. He was told to attend a court hearing relating to an incident when he took photos at the 2013 trial of another Dutch journalist, news portal villamedia.nl reported.

Officials from Turkey's justice and foreign ministries said Ulgur had been brought in for questioning and then released.

The detentions come at a time of political tension between Turkey and the Netherlands, home to one of the world's largest Turkish diaspora communities.

In November Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher accused ethnic Turkish organisations in the Netherlands of lacking transparency and hindering integration. Turkey called the comments "racist" and the two ethnic Turkish lawmakers from Asscher's party resigned.

Last week, two journalists were detained for tweets they sent that were critical of Turkish authorities, and last month the editor in chief of an opposition newspaper was charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation. 


Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ocak 2015, 14:57