Serpil Kırkeser - Ümit Türk / Istanbul, March 17 () - A British academic who was taken into custody on March 15 on suspicion of conducting "terroism propaganda" was deported from Turkey after 25 years, although he was released.
The scholar chosed to return to the UK rather than await deportation, his lawyer Kemal Tuncaelli said, according to Independent newspaper.
"The timing is deeply embarrassing for European Union leaders, who will meet on Thursday in Brussels to cement a controversial deal with Turkey aimed at tackling the refugee crisis" reported Independent. The British newspaper raised concern over media crackdown in the country.
Chris Stephenson, a lecturer in computer science at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, went to the Istanbul's Çağlayan courthouse on March 15 in a show of support for three Turkish academics detained on March 14, in relation to an investigation into signatories of a petition calling for an end to clashes in southeastern provinces of Turkey, in January.
However, he was taken into custody upon a prosecutor’s instruction on accusations of “making propaganda for a terror organization” for possessing a Nevruz leaflet printed by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Stephenson was released on March 16 after being interrogated by a prosecutor.
But Stephenson’s lawyer, Kemal Tuncaelli, said the prosecutor planned to write a written request to the Istanbul Governor’s Office demanding the scholar’s deportation.
Tuncaelli said it was not yet clear whether or not the investigation would continue.
Mr Stephenson said that wife and teenage daughter both remained in Turkey and described his treatment as “very scary and wrong”, according to Independent.
Filiz Stephenson, the academic’s wife, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that it was not true that he had been distributing Nevruz leaflets as originally reported.