Monday 22 July 2019

Turkey deports Dutch journalist on security grounds, cites Dutch intelligence

Screen shot of Ans Boersma via YouTube interview in 2018

Turkey has deported a Dutch journalist who worked for the Financieele Dagblad, Trouw and One World, for ‘security-related reasons’.

Ans Boersma, 31, was picked up on Wednesday morning when she went to the immigration service to apply for an extension to her residency permit.

She was then told she had been deemed to be ‘persona non grata’, kept overnight in a detention centre, and was put on a plane back to the Netherlands on Thursday morning, the FD said.

The reason for her deportation remains extremely unclear. According to a spokesman for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Boersma is suspected of having links to a terrorist organisation.

There is absolutely no connection with her journalistic activities in Turkey, the spokesman is quoted as saying by the NRC. Instead, the Netherlands told Turkey that Boersma had links to Jabhat al-Nusra, the spokesman said on Twitter.

‘If a credible foreign gov’t agency tells you that one of their citizens has links to terrorism, you don’t take any chances,’ he said in a second tweet. ‘The Dutch authorities alone are in a position to explain why they arrived at that conclusion. We won’t speculate on the credibility of their intelligence.’


The Dutch public prosecution department, which first denied she had been extradited, confirmed to news agency ANP that information had been shared with the Turkish authorities and that Boersma is a suspect in a criminal investigation linked to terrorism.

No request

‘The criminal investigation relates to suspicion of terrorism involving other defendants,’ the department said in a short statement on Thursday afternoon.

There was no request to arrest or deport the woman and she is not suspected of any crime relating to terrorism herself, the department said.

Boersma herself says on the FD website that her deportation may relate to the fact that ‘up to summer 2015’ she had a relationship with a Syrian national who was arrested in the Netherlands last autumn because of his former membership of the Syrian terrorist organisatio Jabhat al-Nusra.

The Financieele Dagblad is calling for full clarity from the justice and foreign affairs ministry about why and how information about a Dutch journalist was shared with Turkish investigators. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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