British academic detained over ‘PKK propaganda’ released

British academic detained over ‘PKK propaganda’ released

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
British academic detained over ‘PKK propaganda’ released

DHA photo

A British academic who was taken into custody on March 15 on suspicion of conducting propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) because of a Nevruz leaflet in his possession, has been released but still faces the prospect of deportation.

Chris Stephenson, a lecturer in computer science at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, went to the Istanbul's Çağlayan courthouse on March 15 in a show of support for three Turkish academics detained on March 14, in relation to an investigation into signatories of a petition calling for an end to clashes between security forces and PKK militants in January.

However, he was taken into custody upon a prosecutor’s instruction on accusations of “making propaganda for a terror organization” for possessing a Nevruz leaflet printed by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). 

Stephenson was released on March 16 after being interrogated by a prosecutor.

But Stephenson’s lawyer, Kemal Tuncaelli, said the prosecutor planned to write a written request to the Istanbul Governor’s Office demanding the scholar’s deportation. 

Tuncaelli said it was not yet clear whether or not the investigation would continue.

Filiz Stephenson, the academic’s wife, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that it was not true that he had been distributing Nevruz leaflets as originally reported.