NEW YORK (Reuter)A New York Times correspondent in Turkey–Stephen Kinzer–was held overnight and questioned for more than seven hours by police and military after visiting an area in a Kurdish region of the country–the paper said Monday.
A spokesman for the paper said Kinzer was now en route to Istanbul after being assured by officials in Ankara that authorities in the area had acted overzealously.
Kinzer was in the southeastern part of Turkey near the city of Diyarbakir with a translator and other journalists after having completed a military tour of the area.
The Times said he and his translator had stayed on to do additional reporting when they were arrested at a military checkpoint.
He was arrested–put in a convoy with 18 soldiers guarding him and brought to a rural police station where he was questioned for seven hours–refused the right to make a phone call and kept overnight in a jail cell. In the morning he was questioned again in a videotaped session and forced to sign several documen’s under protest.
He was also accused of being a spy for the Kurdish opposition to Turkish rule–the paper said– adding that the US ambassador to Turkey planned a protest.