Sunday, 24 April 2016

Dutch Journalist Arrested in Turkey after Criticizing Erdogan

Dutch Journalist Arrested in Turkey after Criticizing Erdogan
Umar recently wrote a piece critical of Erdogan for the Dutch daily Metro, extracts of which she then tweeted, leading to her arrest.
A Dutch journalist A Dutch journalist was arrested early Sunday at her home in Turkey for tweets deemed critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to her Twitter account.

“Police at the door. No joke,” wrote Ebru Umar, a well-known atheist and feminist journalist of Turkish origin.
Umar recently wrote a piece critical of Erdogan for the Dutch daily Metro, extracts of which she then tweeted, leading to her arrest.
“I’m not free, we’re going to the hospital” for a medical examination before being taken to face prosecutors, she said in a second tweet as she left her home in Kusadasi, a resort town in western Turkey.
The Dutch foreign ministry said in a tweet that it was in “close contact with” Umar and “local authorities” and the Dutch embassy in Istanbul was “actively engaged” in the case, which had its “full attention”.
Umar, who reportedly became a journalist under the influence of Theo van Gogh — a Dutch filmmaker later murdered for making a controversial film about Islamic culture — had written in the Metro about a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the Netherlands.

A political storm erupted this week over reports an email sent by the Turkish consulate to Turkish organisations in the Netherlands asked people to forward emails and social media posts which insult Erdogan or Turkey.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he would ask Ankara to clarify the call, saying it was not clear what the Turkish government aims to achieve.

The Turkish consulate for its part said the note was sent by a consular official who used an “unfortunate choice of words” that was misinterpreted. 

The case followed outrage in Germany after the government there gave a green light for authorities to begin criminal proceedings against popular comic Jan Boehmermann for performing a satirical poem about Erdogan.

Trials in Turkey for insulting Erdogan have multiplied since his election to the presidency in August 2014, with nearly 2,000 such cases currently open.
Source: AFP24-04-2016 – 14:14 Last updated 24-04-2016 – 14:14


Erdogan Wants Everyone Criticizing Him Prosecuted

by Stephen Lendman
In Turkey, dissent is a criminal offense. Anyone criticizing Erdogan or exposing regime wrongdoing risks arrest, prosecution and imprisonment on charges ranging from insulting the president to espionage, treason or terrorism.
Journalists, academics, public figures, human rights activists, even young children are vulnerable. So would world leaders be if Erdogan has his way.
Last December, regime loyalist Mahir Akkar urged Putin be criminally investigated on charges of insulting and defaming Erdogan.
He wants Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov to stand trial for “insulting the president,” saying “we cannot turn a blind eye to defamation against our president by other presidents or officials.”
Turkish officials pressured Angela Merkel to hold German TVhost Jan Bohmermann accountable for reading a satirical poem on ZDF television criticizing Erdogan – violating the nation’s constitution, affirming free expression even when offensive.
Turkish nationals in the Netherlands were asked to reveals names of anyone insulting Erdogan and their remarks.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he’ll handle things through diplomatic channels. “Our ambassador in Ankara will ask for an explanation,” he said.
An Erdogan regime letter asked Turkish nationals living in the Netherlands to report “messages from people who are insulting our president, the Turkish nation or Turkey in general.”
It asked for “names and the quotes” to be sent to Turkey’s Rotterdam Consulate General.” Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Dutch branch chairman, Axu Ozalp, called what’s happening “very worrying.”
Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink said Ankara’s campaign targets anything appearing on Facebook, Twitter, other social media and private emails.
It aims to “influence how Dutch Turks behave.” Politicians in Holland call the scheme “the long arm of Ankara,” wanting control over diaspora Turks throughout Europe, perhaps others expressing criticism of a rogue regime.
I’ve blasted Erdogan in numerous articles, calling him a fascist despot, a megalomaniacal international outlaw, a psychopath – waging war on Kurdish nationals in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, wanting the Ottoman Empire recreated.
Let me go on record saying clearly. I’d do lots more than insult him. I’d make the same accusations to his face. I won’t be silenced or intimidated.
Maybe his “long arm” will target me. Put nothing past a crazed despot, wanting everyone and everything interfering with his iron-fisted rule eliminated.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
posted by Steve Lendman @ 9:27 AM

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