Kurdish journalist Serdar Karakoç to remain in custody in the Netherlands

Kurdish journalist Serdar Karakoç, who has been living in the Netherlands for 23 years, is being held in custody. A Dutch court has ordered the continuation of his detention.

Serdar Karakoç is being held in extradition custody in the Netherlands. The Kurdish journalist was arrested in his home in Heerlen in the province of Limburg on 23 May. At a court hearing today, the continuation of the detention status was ordered. The next hearing is scheduled to take place in three weeks.

Serdar Karakoç is an Alevi Kurd and was born in Dersim in 1960. He has been working as a journalist in the tradition of the free Kurdish press since the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he was in charge of the Izmir office of the ‘Özgür Gündem’ newspaper, which was later banned in Turkey, and later moved to the Istanbul editorial office. When the then Prime Minister Tansu Çiller had the editorial offices of ‘Özgür Gündem’ successor ‘Özgür Ülke’ bombed on 3 December 1994, Karakoç was one of the few media professionals who remained unharmed in the state-ordered attack. He left Turkey in 2001 to escape persecution and has since lived in the Netherlands as a recognised refugee.