Turkey detains Dutch journalist on 'terror' suspicions

frederike geerdink twitter page 6 January 2015 Image copyright Twitter

Turkish police have briefly detained a Dutch journalist on suspicion of "propaganda for a terrorist organisation" in Turkey's mainly Kurdish south-east.

Freelance reporter Frederike Geerdink, based in the city of Diyarbakir, tweeted as her house was searched by police. She was later released.

Turkey and its Western allies call the Kurdish rebel PKK group "terrorists".

The EU has criticised the Turkish authorities for harassing journalists.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on Tuesday that "nowhere in Europe or in other countries is there a media as free as the press in Turkey".

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, visiting Turkey, said he was "shocked" by the treatment of Geerdink.

On Twitter he said that he was speaking to his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu about the incident.

"Freedom of press in Turkey, and this case, continue to be points of concern," he added.

The head of the bar association in Diyarbakir told Reuters the case was connected to Geerdink's tweets and other issues but did not give further details.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Prominent editor Ekrem Dumanli (C) was arrested in December along with other media executives

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), striving for self-rule, has been fighting Turkish security forces since the 1980s. A fragile truce has been in place since March 2013.

Last month at least 24 people in Turkey were arrested in police raids on a leading newspaper and TV station said to have close links with a US-based cleric.

The Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV channel are described as close to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, the spiritual leader of the Hizmet movement, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US.

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