Trial of Turkish woman detained in Israel set for Tuesday

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 03.07.2018 15:28
Demonstrators gather in Istanbul's Taksim Square to show support for Ebru Özkan, a Turkish national who was detained in Israel on June 11. (AA Photo)
Demonstrators gather in Istanbul's Taksim Square to show support for Ebru Özkan, a Turkish national who was detained in Israel on June 11. (AA Photo)

Ebru Özkan, a Turkish national who was detained in Israel on June 11, will have a trial in an Israeli military court on Tuesday.

Özkan was detained at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport after her visit to Jerusalem, on charges of "threatening Israel's security and having links with terrorist groups."

Since then, Israeli officials have extended her detention two times, resulting in Özkan spending more than three weeks in detention.

According to Özkan's lawyer Omar Khamaysa, officials from the Turkish consulate in Tel Aviv will attend the trial.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ebru's mother Ayten Özkan denied Israeli allegations, calling the trial "unjust." She said this was not her daughter's first visit to Jerusalem and that she loved the city and the people in there.

According to the mother, the Israeli officials have not allowed Ebru Özkan to talk with her parents on the phone throughout her time in custody.

Activists from several NGOs staged a protest in Istanbul's Taksim district on Sunday in support of Özkan. The protesters called for Israel to release Özkan as soon as possible and to formally apologize to her.

Özkan is not the first Turkish citizen to have been recently detained by the Israeli authorities.

In January, Osman Hazır, a 46-year-old Turkish national, was arrested for snapping a selfie at East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque while holding a Turkish flag.

And last December, Israel arrested two other Turks -- Abdullah Kızılırmak and Mehmet Gargılı -- after the pair quarreled with Israeli police who had tried to bar them from entering the flashpoint holy site.

In the same month, Adem Koç, another Turkish national, was arrested inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for allegedly "disturbing the peace and taking part in an illegal demonstration."

Kızılırmak, Gargılı and Koç were all subsequently released on bail.

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