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Swedish journalist arrested in Istanbul

A Swedish journalist was arrested by police during demonstrations at Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saturday evening, according to a Turkish colleague.

Swedish journalist arrested in Istanbul

“I think she will be deported back to Sweden,” Ongun Burak Guzel told the Expressen daily.

The journalist is reported to have spent the evening in the Vatan police station and it remained unclear on Sunday what offence she is alleged to have committed.

“The police thought she was a demonstrator, that is why she was arrested,” Ongun Burak Guzel.

Neither the Foreign Ministry or the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul had on Saturday evening been approached by the Turkish authorities informing them of the matter.

“We have received information through the media, and the Consulate General in place have been contacted by the Turkish media and is following the case,” said Joakim Edvardsson Reimar at the Foreign Ministry’s press service.

“We don’t know anything more than that,” he added.

Taksim Square in central Istanbul has been the scene of demonstrations and disturbance for the past few weeks in the wake of a police crack down against a peaceful environmental sit-in in a nearby park.

Thousands returned to the square on Saturday evening to demand justice for a demonstrator who was killed by police fire.

TT/The Local/pvs

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TURKEY

Turkish government accused of trying to silence critics with arrest of Swedish writer

Charges against a Swedish-Turkish writer who was arrested while holidaying in Spain are an attempt by the Turkish government to silence its critics, non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) claims.

Turkish government accused of trying to silence critics with arrest of Swedish writer
File photo not related to the story. Photo: Petros Giannakouris/AP

Hamza Yalcin was arrested on Tuesday in Barcelona following the issue of an international arrest warrant from Turkey, who accuse him of organizing terrorist acts.

Since moving to Sweden in 1984, Yalcin has written for regime-critical newspaper Odak Dergisi, who according to RSF has angered President Erdogan in Ankara.

“This is an attempt from Erdogan to extend his power outside of the country's borders. He wants to show that he can reach critical voices even if they do not exist in the country. It's an abuse of international police cooperation that risks having major consequences,” RSF Sweden president Jonathan Lundqvist said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Swedish writer wanted by Turkey arrested in Spain

The organization insists that Spanish authorities should dismiss the Turkish accusations and release the 59-year-old to travel home to Sweden.

If he is sent to Turkey then he risks being tried along with over 100 other journalists who the Turkish government has accused of similar crimes, according to RSF. Turkey is ranked 155 out of the 180 countries in the RSF's Press Freedom Index.

Sweden's Foreign Ministry (UD) has asked to meet Yalcin.

“We want to have consular access, and both our embassy in Madrid and our consulate in Barcelona are in contact with the Spanish authorities and have asked for consular access,” UD communications officer Gunnar Vrang told TT.

Yalcin is the second Swedish national to be arrested on Turkey's orders in less then a month. Sweden's Foreign Minister criticized Turkey in July after IT consultant Ali Gharavi was jailed in the country along with several human rights activists for allegedly aiding a terror group. The Swedish government understood that he was there to attend a seminar about freedom of the internet.

READ ALSO: Sweden slams Turkey for jailing activist