ANKARA: A Dutch journalist said on Sunday she was detained for several hours overnight by Turkish police after for sending tweets deemed critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ebru Umar, a well-known atheist and feminist journalist of Turkish origin, said she was hauled out of her bed late on Saturday at her home in Kusadasi, a resort town in western Turkey.

“Two men were banging on the door, and said I had to go with them because of two Tweets,” she told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

She said they spent the night at the police station “talking about politics and the situation in Turkey” before she was brought before a judge on Sunday.

Umar, 45, was later released, but said she is not allowed to leave the country and must report to police in a few days.

The columnist had recently written a piece critical of Erdogan for the Dutch daily Metro, extracts of which she then tweeted. She had been due to fly back to the Netherlands on Sunday, and says she wants to return but is forbidden for the time being.

The hashtag #freeebru was trending in the Netherlands Sunday, with Dutch politicians and commentators calling for her release. Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement later Sunday he was “relieved” Umar had been released.

But he slammed her arrest, saying he had contacted his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to voice his “regret” and concerns about the case.

“I made it clear that press freedom and freedom of expression is a good thing,” Koenders said in a statement.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2016

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