Turkish court to hear propaganda case against Dutch journalist

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No image availableNL Times

Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink is in court in Turkey Wednesday. She stands accused of making propaganda for the Kurdish separatist movement PKK, an organization that is on the European Union's terrorist list.

Geerdink regularly published articles regarding the Kurdish population in Turkey. She doesn't see it as propaganda. "I wrote columns on an independent Turkish website about the Kurdish issue. It did not include any propaganda. They are analyses and thoughts about what's going on here. That is not propaganda, but journalism." she told BNR.

Geerdink could face a lengthy prison sentence, but she doesn't think that will happen. "I'm not so tense. I believe there will be a good outcome," she told NOS. "The law used against me was equalized by the European Court of Human Rights in December. According to the court, the law is hardly applicable in practice."

This does not mean that Geerdink expects to be acquitted right away, as the European Court's judgments are not always immediately implemented in Turkey. "It may well be that there will be a second session in a few months and that I will be acquitted then," she said. "Another possibility is that I may be condemned to a prison sentence of less than two years. In Turkey that is, by definition, a suspended sentence and in that manner they try to enforce censorship. But maybe I'm acquitted right away and free again in an hour."