A Turkish-Dutch journalist has been detained by authorities in Turkey for her critical comments on social media about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to reports Sunday. This is latest in a string of crackdown by Ankara on journalists critical of the government.
Ebru Umar, the journalist with Metro newspaper, was detained Saturday. She had tweeted in Dutch late Saturday that Turkish police were taking her to a police station in Kusadasi, a resort town in western Turkey.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a tweet that he contacted Umar following her arrest. He added that the Dutch embassy was in close contact with her for assistance. Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker told Dutch WNL television “it is absurd that you can be arrested for a tweet,” according to Agence France-Presse.
Umar, who is of Turkish origin, had written a column last week for the Metro newspaper condemning an appeal by Turkey’s consulate in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam that urged Turkish people in the Netherlands to report cases of people insulting the country or its leader. The journalist had compared the appeal to “NSB practices,” referring to the Dutch branch of the Nazi party prior and during the World War II, the Associated Press reported.
Turkish officials have filed about 2,000 lawsuits against people for insulting Erdoğan.
On Friday, Russian news agency Sputnik said Turkey had denied access to Tural Kerimov, the agency's Turkish bureau chief. Turkish authorities seized Kerimov’s press card and residence permit and he was asked to return to Russia on the next flight, according to Kerimov, whose ban to the country came about a week after Turkish officials temporarily blocked Sputnik's website.
In January 2015, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and other members of the cabinet were given the right to block any website without a court order. The government could also ask the Telecommunications Department to take down contents from any number of websites within four hours of receiving a notice, citing national security, protection of social order, or for prevention of crime.