German police briefly detain Kurdish artist protesting destruction of Hasankeyf

German police on Saturday briefly detained Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan following a protest she led against the destruction of a historic town in Turkey’s southeast.

Doğan was detained along with three French nationals in front of Pergamon Museum in Berlin, opposition newspaper Yeni Yaşam reported on Saturday.

"We have been detained by German police due to our performance in front of the Pergamon Museum calling attention to Hasankeyf with Juan Golan Elibeg, Aurélie Gerardin and Thomas Lamouroux. Our interrogation continues,’’ Doğan posted on Twitter. Doğan later said the four were released following the interrogation.

The 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf in Turkey’s Batman province has made international headlines since 2014, following news that the ancient site, home of 2,500 people today, will be submerged upon completion of the Ilisu dam just about 25 miles downstream from the town.

Turkish authorities have been pushing ahead with the transportation of historic artefacts in Turkey’s southeastern ancient town and plan to move several of the 300 monuments from Hasankeyf, despite a decision from the country’s Council of State to cancel the tender for the move.

Doğan’s artwork documents rights abuses in Turkey while calling attention to the problems of the country’s Kurds, who make up around 15 percent of the population.

In July of 2017, Turkey sentenced the artist to two years and nine months in jail for “exceeding the limits of criticism” over her depicting the destruction of the southeastern town of Nusaybin by state security forces.