DİYARBAKIR – Anadolu Agency
A lawsuit has been opened against Frederike Geerdink, a Diyarbakır-based Dutch journalist, on charges of making propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with the prosecutor demanding between one and five years in prison.
The 6th High Criminal Court has accepted an indictment in which the prosecutor’s office said it was determined that the journalist made PKK propaganda by sharing the organization’s flags and member’s activities on social media.
In her testimony, Geerdink pled not guilty and refused that she shared posts either praising the PKK or against the state, the indictment also said.
Geerdink’s detention came hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had declared at a meeting of ambassadors in Ankara that “there is no freer press, in Europe or elsewhere in the world, than in Turkey.”
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders was also attending the meeting when the journalist was detained.
While Koenders raised his concerns during his meetings with Turkish colleagues, including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, on Jan. 6, the Turkish side defended the impartiality of the ongoing judicial process.
“The incident caused uproar because of Turkey’s unfair record,” Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Jan. 7, asking whether European countries would not demand the testimony of a Turk “if they made propaganda of a terrorist organization.”
“Turkey is facing unfair criticism over the detained journalist,” he added.