AP_IstanbulAirport_1.jpg
Istanbul's airport, pictured in October 2018. Turkish authorities on January 17 deported a Dutch journalist whom it said was alleged to have links to terrorism. (AP/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 13, 2019

By Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative on January 17, 2019 1:18 PM ET

Turkey deports Dutch journalist
Authorities on January 17 deported Ans Boersma, a Dutch freelance journalist based in Istanbul, BBC Turkish reported. The journalist was taken into custody the day before, when she tried to renew her residence permit at the Foreigners' Office in Istanbul. She was detained overnight at a police station, and put on the plane the following day without being allowed to visit her house to pack, the report said. Boersma's work permit for Turkey was valid until the end of January.

Fahrettin Altun, the communications director for the presidency, tweeted in English that the journalist was deported because of intelligence Turkey received from Dutch officials. "The Netherlands told Turkey that the reporter, who was deported today, had links to Jabhat al-Nusra. We acted on intelligence from the Netherlands and took a precautionary measure," the tweet said. He added in a following tweet, "If a credible foreign gov't agency tells you that one of their citizens has links to terrorism, you don't take any chances. The Dutch authorities alone are in a position to explain why they arrived at that conclusion. We won't speculate on the credibility of their intelligence."

BBC Turkish reported that Dutch prosecutors said they did not make any request for the journalist to be detained or extradited. A statement from the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service, posted on its website, said, "In a current criminal investigation, questions have recently been put to the Turkish authorities. In addition, information was also provided to the Turkish authorities. That information was about the woman who came to the Netherlands from Turkey on Thursday. The criminal investigation concerns a suspicion of terrorism against other suspects. The suspicion against the woman is not a crime with terrorist intent. No request for detention, expulsion or extradition has been made."

Journalists in court

  • Reyhan Çapan, a former responsible news editor for the shuttered, pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem, is still in prison despite being eligible for release on parole because she has less than a year left to serve of her sentence, Gazete Karınca reported. Çapan was jailed in May last year over unpaid fines related to her work as responsible news editor, which were converted into prison time, according to CPJ's prison census, Çapan is still awaiting the outcome of dozens of other legal cases against her. Özcan Kılıç, Çapan's lawyer, told CPJ last year, "In this situation, she seems to be staying in prison for a long time."
  • An Istanbul court on January 11 accepted an indictment accusing Necla Demir, publisher of the online newspaper Gazete Karınca, of "continuous terrorism propaganda," her newspaper reported. Demir is charged with circulating propaganda for the outlawed Kurdish groups PKK/KCK via her outlet's news, specifically in reports on the Turkish military operations on Syrian soil, according to the report.

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