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Turkey expels British academic over invite to Kurdish New Year celebrations

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Turkey expels British academic over invite to Kurdish New Year celebrations
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A British academic has been expelled from Turkey after being found with invitations to Kurdish New Year celebrations.

It is not a bulletin of a terrorist organisation. I don't support terrorism. I want peace and I always act for peace

Demonstrations have been held in support of Chris Stephenson, a well-known lecturer at Bilgi University in Istanbul.

Stephenson says he was detained on Tuesday at a courthouse where he went to support three scholars accused of terrorism propaganda.

It is reported Stephenson decided to leave Turkey after being told about a deportation order against him, and before officers turned up to physically remove him.

Speaking in Turkish before flying out of Istanbul, he told reporters there was no trial, no offence.

He says an invitation from the legal Kurdish HDP (People’s Democratic Party) was found in his bag.

He says he told the officers the papers were not from a terrorist organisation, that he doesn’t support terrorism, he wants peace and has always acted for peace.

Many people have spoken out in support of Stephenson, a computer sciences lecturer who has lived in Turkey for more than 25 years.

Stephenson was not officially charged with anything, but an administrative order was issued for his deportation.

Turkish officials have not yet commented on the case.