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Turkey May Deport UK Academic for Alleged PKK Support

© AP Photo / Murad SezerTurkish police stands guard outside of Bilgi University in Istanbul, Turkey (File)
Turkish police stands guard outside of Bilgi University in Istanbul, Turkey (File) - Sputnik International
A UK academic Chris Stephenson, a lecturer in computer science at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, accused of PKK propaganda, can be deported from Turkey if the prosecutor writes a corresponding request to the Istanbul Governor’s Office, according to local media.

Residents talk to a member of Turkish police special forces as they flee after clashes between security forces and Kurdish militants from Baglar district, which is partially under curfew, in the Kurdish-dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey March 15, 2016 - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) — A UK academic recently detained in Istanbul over alleged propaganda for the banned in Turkey Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been released and currently faces the risk of deportation, local media reported Wednesday.

According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Chris Stephenson, a lecturer in computer science at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, was detained on March 15 after visiting his colleagues, who had been earlier detained for signing a petition with an appeal to Ankara to stop military operations against the PKK in Turkey's southeast.

In addition, Stephenson was accused of spreading leaflets with invitations to the celebrations of the Kurdish holiday of Nowruz, where a pro-PKK propaganda is expected to be spread, according to the media outlet.

Armed Kurdish militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) stand behind a barricade during clashes with Turkish forces on September 28, 2015, at Bismil, in Diyarbakir - Sputnik International
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On March 16, Stephenson was released after interrogation, however, according to his lawyer Kemal Tuncaelli, the academic can be deported if the prosecutor writes a corresponding request to the Istanbul Governor’s Office.

In January, 1,128 local and international researchers signed the Academics for Peace petition calling for cessation of military operation against the PKK in the southeast of Turkey. Ankara has launched a probe against a total of 507 researchers for signing the petition.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the signatories "poor excuses for intellectuals."

Violence in Turkey escalated in mid-2015, when the Turkish government launched a military campaign against the PKK, which is considered to be a terrorist organization in the country.

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