It is now 10 days since the Turkish government American journalist Jake Hess for “terrorist links.” The 25 year old Hess, who works for Inter Press Services (IPS) and whose writings have appeared at antiwar.com, is still being held without charges and the Turkish Interior Ministry has still not approved his deportation.
The accusations against Hess appear to be based exclusively on his writings being too critical of the Turkish government, and too sympathetic to the nation’s Kurdish minority. The government labeled him an “activist” and insisted his writings amounted to giving aid to banned Kurdish groups.
Accord to Hess his post-arrest interrogations focused exclusively on his writings, and his interrogators repeatedly complained that he was “harming Turkey’s image” with his writings.
Though his lawyer said last week that the order for his deportation would come within a week to 10 days, it does not appear that it has moved along since then, and Hess appears no closer to being allowed to leave the country.
Still Hess insists that he is being well treated in detention and that he is doing well. But until he is freed the questions surrounding his detention and the criticism from international journalists’ rights groups will no doubt continue.