Tuesday 03 August 2021

Second Dutch journalist questioned by Turkish police

A Dutch journalist who was picked up by Turkish police and questioned on Wednesday has described his detention as ‘a bit of bullying’.

Mehmet Ülger, who also has Turkish nationality, was arrested at Istanbul airport as he made his way through passport control. He was questioned for two hours and then released.

His arrest comes a day after another Dutch journalist was picked up and questioned by Turkish anti-terrorist police. Frederike Geerdink, who writes about Kurdish issues, was also released after a few hours.

‘It was very intimidating to start with but later the atmosphere changed and they became very nice and controlled,’ Ülger is quoted as saying by the Volkskrant.

Ülger, who has been visiting a number of refugee camps in Syria, says he was primarily questioned about photos he took in 2013 during a court case against Dutch journalist Fusun Erdogan. He was arrested at the time and later released but does have to appear in court in Istanbul on January 21 in connection with that case.

Foreign minister Bert Koenders has called on Turkey to explain Geerdink’s arrest.

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