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Israel urged to release arrested Turkish woman

27-year-old woman was arrested at Tel Aviv airport over ‘groundless claims,’ her family says

July 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Ebru Ozkan, a Turkish national who was arrested by Israeli forces [Twitter]

The family of young Turkish woman, who was arrested in Tel Aviv airport two weeks ago, urged Israeli authorities to release her immediately.

Israeli forces arrested 27-year-old Ebru Ozkan at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on June 11 when she was returning to Turkey.

She has been accused of having links to a terrorist organisation.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ayten Ozkan, mother of Ebru, dismissed the allegations, saying her daughter, who had also been to Jerusalem two times previously, was arrested “unjustly.”

“My daughter loves Jerusalem so much. […] She loves people and children there […],” Ayten said.

The family could not communicate with Ebru for 19 days, according to her mother, who added:

I hope my daughter will be a voice of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque and will be a voice of heart-stricken mothers.

Ebru’s detention had been extended four times, Elif Ozkan, a sister of Ebru, noted.

“It is a completely arbitrary arrest. They accuse her of [having links] to a terror organisation but they are not saying which terrorist organisation. They are all the groundless claims,” Elif told Anadolu Agency.

Read: Israel arrests Palestinian music band for ‘producing songs that incite to resistance’

Next hearing

She said Ebru had been to Jerusalem to spend the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

While going there, she took souvenirs such as candies, balloons and coloring books for children. She was very happy to be able to give all the stuff to them.

Ebru’s family hopes that she will be released in the next hearing scheduled for July 1.

“We wait for everyone. For my sister’s freedom, we want everyone and every institution to raise their voice on this [issue],” Elif said.

Jerusalem remains at the core of the perennial Israel-Palestine conflict, as Palestinians want Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories since last December when US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. On May 14, the US relocated its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, drawing condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world and further inflaming passions in the Palestinian territories.

Since March, more than 135 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli army gunfire during protests demanding an end to the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and lifting of the Gaza blockade.