German MP says he was ‘shocked’ by being detained at Erbil airport  

Germany’s Left Party lawmaker Hakan Tas

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — German lawmaker Hakan Tas who was detained at Erbil airport on Saturday said he was “shocked” to see what happened to him “not only in Turkey, but also in Kurdistan”.

Germany’s Left Party lawmaker Tas said in an interview with Tagesspiegel that he was detained for 15 hours in the security area of the airport.

He said security officers at the airport had taken his passport and that he was interrogated twice, Tagesspiegel reported.

The officers “looked through his photos and his Instagram account and wanted to know who he intended to meet,” Tagesspiegel said.

Authorities at Erbil international airport banned a group of more than 20 people from entering the Kurdistan Region on Saturday.

Among them was Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink who was sent back to Dusseldorf early on Sunday.

“I cheered to early: I’m banned and about to be sent back to where I came from,” Geerdink said in a tweet on Saturday.

She told Esta Media Network that authorities had given no reason for the prevention.

Another person was former lawmaker of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Demir Celik. He was told by the authorities that they “are here for provocation,” journalist Geerdink quoted him as saying.

There was no official comment from authorities in the Kurdistan Region.

The incident came a few days after security forces arrested three representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) at Erbil airport.

Member of the AANES representation in Sulaimani city Fathulla Husseini said the three persons were detained by a force affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) as they went to welcome a group of European lawmakers and intellectuals at Erbil airport.

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