Detained Belgian journalists in Turkey released

Turkish authorities release three Belgian journalists after briefly detaining and questioning them on their plans to cross into Syria

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Belgian journalists Robin Rama Ekers, Jo Verstichel and Nicolas Becker - who were detained by Turkish authorities in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa on Sunday - were released on the same day after answering questions regarding their plans to cross into Syria, and their attempted observation of the Kobani side from a house in Sanliurfa’s border district of Birecik.

The journalists told the officers that they were on their way to Syria to cover events in the war-torn Kurdish-populated town of Kobani (Ayn al Arab) town across the border of Turkey, according to security sources, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

Kobane has become a symbol of resistance for the Kurds against aggression by ISIS militants.

The militant group attacked the town of Kobani in mid-September 2014 and turned the town into a scene of fierce confrontations between armed Kurdish groups and the militants, but they were eventually forced to retreat in January of this year by Syrian Kurdish YPG forces, which were backed by US-led air strikes and the forces of the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army.

Kobane has since been declared free from ISIS but the town still faces major destruction and about 180,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have fled to Turkey.

TRTWorld and agencies