US journalist likely to be deported from Turkey
American journalist Jake Hess, who has been detained in Turkey on accusations of collaborating with Kurdish groups, is likely to be deported, his lawyer said Friday, dpa reported.
Hess, who was detained on Wednesday in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir, is accused of aiding the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and having ties to the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), considered the urban wing of the PKK.
Hess' name appeared in a case file on a group of 150 KCK activists whose trial is set for October, Turkish media reported.
The journalist's lawyer, Serkan Akbas, told the German Press Agency dpa his client would likely be deported rather than face trial in Turkey because the 48-hour maximum detention period has passed without charges being filed.
Hess, a freelance journalist, has written articles sympathetic to Kurdish issues for the Inter Press Service (IPS) and other outlets.
Turkish media quoted Akbas as saying Hess had previously worked as a translator for the Human Rights Association (IHD), a pro-Kurdish organisation in Turkey, but that he is no longer involved with the group.
Turkey has a history of detaining and bringing to trial journalists reporting on politically sensitive topics, particularly the ongoing Kurdish issue.
Hess' detention comes at a time of increased tensions in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish south-eastern region. In recent months, the PKK has stepped up its attacks on Turkish military and security forces, and several dozen Turkish soldiers have lost their lives in the conflict.
The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union. Although the group initially sought to create an independent Kurdish state, the PKK now says it is fighting for increased political and cultural rights for Turkey's Kurdish minority.