Dutch columnist detained over tweets leaves Turkey
THE HAGUEA newspaper columnist who was briefly detained in Turkey and then banned from leaving the country during an investigation into tweets deemed insulting to the president has been allowed to return to the Netherlands.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement late May 10 that the journalist, Ebru Umar, has already left Turkey.
“Columnist Ebru Umar can travel back to the Netherlands. Turkey on May 10 lifted her travel ban,” Koenders announced in a statement issued in The Hague.
Umar was briefly arrested in Turkey just over two weeks ago for tweeting comments critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Dutch feminist journalist of Turkish origin said she was hauled out of bed and detained at her holiday home in Kuşadası, a resort town in western Turkey.
She was questioned for 16 hours then released but not allowed to leave country. She had to report to police twice a week until now, as a flurry of diplomatic efforts unfolded to get her back to the Netherlands.
“It’s excellent news that she can come back,” the Dutch foreign minister said in the statement.
“A lot has been done behind the scenes and it’s good she’s heading back home,” Koenders added.
The columnist however could still face charges in Turkey and will have to await the outcome of a judicial inquiry, the statement said.
“It remains to be seen whether she will indeed be prosecuted,” it added.