ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The German government on Friday changed its travel advice for visitors to Turkey, warning its citizens, especially Kurds, that they risk being arrested for anti-government statements on social media.
The updated Foreign Ministry travel advisory said there had been a recent “rise in detentions of German nationals who are or have been active in Kurdish organizations.”
It also said that many German citizens, especially with Kurdish backgrounds or Turkish-Alevi backgrounds, were banned from entering the country.
The German government warned its citizens that anti-government statements on social media, even in the past, could lead to arrests. This could also include the sharing or “liking” of articles from foreign news outlets.
Furthermore, it also said anonymous persons could report comments to Turkish law enforcement agencies.
Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria on Oct. 9, leading to mass displacements and deaths of civilians.
Der Spiegel reported that at least 14 German Kurds had been arrested since the start of October.
Since then, 10 of them have been released, but several are forbidden to leave the country pending trial while others face added restrictions.
Nebahat Yildirim, a member of the Kurdish Community in Germany (KGD), was arrested on Oct. 3. Yildirim was eventually released, but not allowed to leave the country pending trial.
The Turkish unilateral attacks on positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led to massive outrage and protests among European Kurds but also Kurds living in the region.
Several protests are expected to be held on Saturday in European capitals in solidarity with the Kurds in Syria.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany