Europe

Dutch columnist detained over tweets leaves Turkey

A newspaper columnist who was briefly detained in Turkey and then banned from leaving the country during an investigation into tweets deemed insulting to the president has been allowed to return to the Netherlands.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement late Tuesday that the columnist, Ebru Umar, has already left Turkey. He called the return of the dual Dutch-Turkish national "great news," but added that it remains unclear if Turkish authorities will charge her over last month's tweets.

Human rights and media freedom groups have repeatedly sounded the alarm over the limited tolerance of dissent in Turkey, where nearly 2,000 legal cases have been opened against individuals accused of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since he came to office in 2014.