Turkey: Pro-Kurdish journalist detained on terrorism charges

Image: Kurdish Matters
Image: Kurdish Matters

A Dutch journalist who writes about Kurdish issues in Turkey has been arrested in her home in Diyarbakir following terrorism-related accusations.

Frederike Geerdink, who runs the blog Kurdish Matters, was detained earlier this morning after her home was searched by anti-terrorist police. Geerdink is accused by Turkish authorities of publishing ‘pro-terrorist propaganda’.

Geerdink’s work has previously involved articles that have been accused of being sympathetic to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), who have been deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey and several Western powers.

The PKK, who operate in the East of the country, are involved in an ongoing battle with the Turkish government in their aim to support ethnic Kurds living in Turkey. Previous actions by the PKK include armed attacks that have led to the group being seen as a militant terrorist group by many.

The PKK has historically accused Turkey of attempting to oppress its ethnic Kurdish groups. The government has also come under international fire after being accused of inaction against Islamic State militants who in 2014 attacked ethnic Kurdish towns along the Syrian-Turkish border.

In response to IS attacks the PKK supported mobilisation of armed groups to protect Kurdish towns and villages. The PKK’s support of Kurdish groups has gained the group international support by some, with some calling for governments to declassify them as a terrorist group.

Geerdink broke news of her arrest through her twitter feed, in which she described police forces searching her home before being detained.

News of the arrest comes after several incidents that have led to many accusing Turkish authorities of cracking down on journalists in an attempt to silence dissidence.


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