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Deported Dutch journo sacked from newspaper

Journalist deported from Turkey on Thursday for links to al-Nusra Front member

Meryem Göktaş  | 19.01.2019
Deported Dutch journo sacked from newspaper File Photo

By Abdullah Asiran

ROTTERDAM

A Dutch journalist, who was deported by Turkey, was fired from her newspaper on Friday.

The decision to deport Johanna Cornelia Boersma on Thursday was made after Turkish authorities received intelligence from Dutch police that she had links to a terrorist group.

Dutch police had also requested information about her movements in and out of Turkey.

According to a statement by the Directorate-General of the Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad, Boersma was not clear enough about her situation and was therefore removed from her position on grounds of loss of mutual trust.

Local media reports said that the Dutch journalist is suspected of committing forgery in the visa application for her ex-boyfriend who was arrested on suspicion of belonging to the terrorist organization al-Nusra Front.

The al-Nusra Front -- established in Syria -- has been classified by Turkey as a terrorist organization since 2014.

Boersma allegedly met with the terror suspect in 2013 and 2014 in Turkey and helped him to get a visa to the Netherlands, the media reports added.

In a statement to the Dutch daily on Thursday, Boersma said that the deportation could be related to her arrested Syrian ex-boyfriend with whom she was in a relationship until 2015.

A written statement by the Dutch Prosecutor's Office said that Boersma was part of an ongoing criminal investigation in connection with terrorism.

The statement added that a large number of suspects were investigated, stating that terrorism charges were not filed against the Dutch journalist.

The Turkish officials were recently asked some questions as part of the criminal investigation, while information was also shared with Turkish authorities, it added.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag said that the deportation was a personal situation and not related to her journalism.

Kaag added that on a legal basis there is always an exchange of information between Turkey and the Netherlands.

On Thursday, Turkey's presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun said that the deportation of the Dutch journalist had nothing to do with her journalism.

"The Netherlands told Turkey that the reporter, who was deported today, had links to Jabhat al-Nusra [al-Nusra Front]. We acted on intelligence from the Netherlands and took a precautionary measure," Altun said on his official Twitter account.


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