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Turkish Court Clears Dutch Journalist of Terrorism-Related Charges

© AFP 2023 / ILYAS AKENGIN Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink leaves the Diyarbakir courthouse on April 13, 2015 in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink leaves the Diyarbakir courthouse on April 13, 2015 in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. - Sputnik International
Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink was acquitted by Turkish court of charges of disseminating propaganda for the banned Turkey Kurdistan Workers" Party (PKK).

Frederike Geerdink - Sputnik International
Dutch Journalist May Face Five Years In Prison For ‘Terror Propaganda’
ANKARA (Sputnik) — A Turkish court in the Diyarbakir province on Monday acquitted Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink of charges of disseminating propaganda for the banned Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The journalist announced the court's decision through a comment posted on her Twitter account.

In January, Geerdink, who writes largely about human right abuses against Turkey's Kurdish minority, was detained and then accused of spreading "propaganda for a terrorist organization" by posting messages on social media in favor of the PKK, outlawed and regarded as a terrorist group in Turkey.

Geerdink's detention has triggered an outcry from human rights and journalists groups, citing fears about the erosion of press freedom under Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan.

A Kurdish man waves a flag of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as PKK, right, and a flag with a portrait of the jailed Turkish Kurdish guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan, left, during a demonstration demanding his release, in Beirut, Lebanon - Sputnik International
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Geerdink faced up to five years in prison if convicted.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party was founded at the end of the 70s to fight for Kurdish self-determination, who comprise up to 25 percent of the Turkish population. The Turkish Kurdistan region has long wanted to separate from Turkey and establish an independent state.

The Kurdish independence supporters, including the PKK, have been fighting government forces since 1984. In 2013, the sides agreed on a ceasefire, which held until September 2014, when the PKK attacked Turkish policemen over alleged maltreatment of Syrian Kurds by Ankara.

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