Turkey to expel Kurdish region-based Dutch reporter: official

9th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch journalist based in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey is to be deported after being detained last week during clashes between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish security forces, her lawyer said on Wednesday.

Frederike Geerdink was detained last weekend while travelling with a delegation from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the Yuksekova district of Turkey's southeastern Hakkari region.

"We've been informed of an administrative decision to deport her. We don't have any details on the reasons for the decision," her lawyer, Ramazan Ay, told AFP.

"She's now in a detention centre for foreign citizens in Yuksekova. We're going to appeal this decision," he added.

He said that Geerdink had been formally released from police custody on Tuesday and then transferred to the detention centre to await deportation.

The state-run Anatolia news agency also reported that she was to be deported, citing a security source. Other reports said the deportation decision had been taken by the governor of Hakkari.

The deportation order comes as the Turkish military wages a huge operation against rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in its strongholds, including Hakkari.

Geerdink, who moved to Turkey in 2006, has been based in Diyarbakir since 2012 and specialises in writing about the Kurds.

Her articles have been published in Dutch and English-language media and also the anti-government Turkish news website Diken (diken.com.tr).

In April earlier this year, she was put on trial on charges of spreading "terrorist propaganda" for the PKK but was then acquitted.

The case against her highlighted concerns about press freedom in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where a host of public figures are facing legal proceedings on charges of insulting the president.

Earlier this month, Turkish authorities arrested on terror charges two British reporters and their Iraqi translator working for US-based media outlet Vice News who had been covering clashes in the southeast.

The two British reporters -- Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury -- were released and swiftly deported.

However the Iraqi translator -- Mohammed Ismael Rasool -- is still being held and could yet face trial. Vice News has said it is doing all it can to obtain his release.


© 2015 AFP

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