Dutch reporter leaves Turkey after arrest over ′insulting′ tweets | News | DW | 11.05.2016
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Dutch reporter leaves Turkey after arrest over 'insulting' tweets

Turkey has lifted a travel ban on Dutch columnist Ebru Umar, allowing her to return to the Netherlands, officials said. The journalist had been detained over tweets deemed "insulting" to President Erdogan.

Umar leaving Kusadasi's police building with her lawyer after arrest on April 24

Umar leaving Kusadasi police building with her lawyer after arrest on April 24

Ebru Umar returned to Amsterdam after a Turkish judge ruled she could await the outcome of her case outside of Turkey, Dutch officials said on Wednesday.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders praised Umar's return as "great news."

"A lot has been done behind the scenes, and it's good she's heading back home," he said."It remains to be seen whether she will indeed be prosecuted."

The 45-year-old feminist and atheist writer was arrested last month in her house in Turkish town of Kusadasi and questioned for 16 hours over her social media postings. Umar's tweets were deemed to be "insulting to state leaders," Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Umar had recently posted extracts from a column critical of Erdogan on social media.

The police released her after the hearing, but the authorities barred her from traveling outside Turkey. In addition, she had to check in with the police twice a week.

Umar's case sparked outrage in the Netherlands, with Dutch politicians and commentators publicly decrying her arrest. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also commented on the incident, saying that her detention "directly hits our core values - freedom of expression and press freedom."

Turkish activists and government critics have accused Ankara of cracking down of dissent, locking up journalists and taking over critical media outlets. Trials for insulting Erdogan have also multiplied since he assumed the post in August 2014, with nearly 2,000 such cases currently open.

Erdogan also recently sued German comedian Jan Böhmermann over a satirical poem broadcast on German public television.

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