Dutch-Turkish journalist to go into hiding after arrest
ANKARA - Dutch-Turkish journalist Ebru Umar, arrested in Turkey last month after criticising President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but later allowed to leave, said Thursday she is moving to a secret address in the Netherlands for her own safety.
"I'm going to live at a secret address," she told popular daily tabloid De Telegraaf in an interview, after meeting public prosecutors in Amsterdam as well as the National Anti-Terror and Safety Coordinator (NCTV).
Umar was briefly arrested at her holiday home in the western resort town of Kusadasi in Turkey two-and-a-half weeks ago after tweeting a comment critical of Erdogan.
She was questioned for 16 hours and then released, and was not allowed to leave the country and had to report to police twice a week.
But after an intense behind-the-scenes diplomatic flurry Umar was allowed to leave Turkey late on Tuesday and flew back to the Netherlands.
"The bottom line is that people will continue to recognise me (in the Netherlands), continue to threaten and continue to insult me," Umar told the paper.
The well-known feminist added that she would not return to Turkey "which is not safe", neither will she live in her Amsterdam-West home -- which had been burgled while she was kept in Turkey.
Umar who could still face charges in Turkey and will have to await the outcome of a judicial inquiry, called the charges against her "ridiculous".
In the meantime Umar, who is a columnist for the Metro newspaper, agreed to tell authorities of any public appearances.
"I'm paying a high price, but that doesn't mean my life got worse. I'm just getting back another (type of) life," she said.
Umar's treatment has sparked anger in the liberal-minded Netherlands, and Umar herself previously tweeted out a video with a message of thanks for the "heart-warming" support.
Trials in Turkey for insulting Erdogan have multiplied since his election to the presidency in August 2014, with nearly 2,000 such cases currently open.