ANKARA, Turkey (TheBlaze/AP) — Turkish authorities on Sunday released a Turkish-Dutch journalist from police custody but barred her from leaving Turkey as they continue to investigate tweets she posted about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ebru Umar, a columnist for Metro newspaper, was detained for questioning late on Saturday at her home in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi, on the orders of a prosecutor for social media postings deemed to be “insulting to state leaders,” Turkey’s state-run news agency reported. The journalist had tweeted in Dutch late Saturday that police were at her door and that she was being taken to a police station in Kusadasi.
Anadolu Agency said she was released following questioning by prosecutors but has been barred from leaving the country.
“TIMELINE! few things: free but have country judgment,” the journalist tweeted Sunday.
In a short video posted on Metro’s website, Umar said she was woken up Saturday night by two police officers knocking on her door who told her to go with them because of two tweets.
“I was treated well, I can’t put it any other way,” she said. “I had a good evening with a 55-year-old man discussing politics and the situation in Turkey.”
She said she “is not altogether free. I am not allowed to leave the country.” She said a lawyer is trying to get the travel restriction lifted because she wants to return to the Netherlands.
Turkish authorities have launched close to 2,000 lawsuits against people accused of insulting Erdogan since he came to office in 2014, including for social media postings.