Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 09:00
Dutch FM is using journalist's release from Turkey to "score", she says
Turkish-Dutch journalist Ebru Umar is not entirely pleased with the Dutch government's diplomatic efforts in securing her released from Turkey. She is especially sour about the way Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs claimed credit for her release, she said in an interview with the Telegraaf. According to Umar, she was barely on the flight back from Turkey on Tuesday night when the Ministry of Foreign affairs released a press statement in which Koenders proclaimed her release. And this while she was told to talk to nobody about her departure to the Netherlands. "I had to keep it a secret, because my return had to be Foreign Affairs' party", she said to the newspaper. "They wanted to score with it, so they announced it while I knew nothing about it." Umar also told the newspaper that she is currently staying at a secret address for her own protection. "I already had a meeting with the Public Prosecutor in Amsterdam and the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security", she said. "Bottom line is that people will continue to recognize me, keep up the verbal abuse and continue to threaten." They are still working on how best to protect her, according to Umar. "There's been a threat analysis. For now we agreed that I will report public appearances to the authorities." she said. "I mostly want my life back. And I want those people to stop threatening me. Threatening people is not normal." Umar was arrested at her holiday home in Turkey at the end of April for insulting tweets she posted about president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She was released a day later, but banned from leaving the country. Following her arrest, Umar wrote a column in Metro in which she blamed Dutch-Turks for her arrest and called them fascists. The travel ban against her was lifted on Tuesday and she returned to the Netherlands.