MP Natalie McGarry quizzed in Turkey after 'using phone to record bomb sounds'


Scottish MP Natalie McGarry was questioned by Turkish security forces after using her phone to "record the sound of bombs" falling in a Kurdish area of the country.

The Glasgow East politician, who was on a visit to Turkey with the GMB union, was briefly detained near a security checkpoint in the south-east of the country.

Her lawyer later confirmed she had been using her mobile phone to record bombs falling on the Kurdish area of Sur in the city of Diyarbakir, a flashpoint in the conflict between the Turkish government and the country's Kurdish population.

A statement from solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "I can confirm that Natalie McGarry MP was questioned earlier on today when she was recording the sound of bombs from the Turkish forces falling on the Kurdish area of Sur in Diyarbakir.

"It appears that a member of the Turkish security forces became alarmed as Natalie had her mobile phone out near a security checkpoint.

"She was taken away for questioning and when it was explained that she was part of the GMB delegation and simply recording the sound of bombs falling, she was released."

He said no further statement would be made and the MP would be returning home soon.

Ms McGarry, who has previously expressed her support for the Kurds, tweeted: "Thank you for any concerns but I am safe and absolutely fine."

She added: "To follow up on statement from elsewhere, I was not arrested, but answered some questions. I am absolutely fine and have no further comment."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "A British national was briefly detained and released in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

"Our embassy staff were in close contact with local authorities."

Ms McGarry sits as an independent MP after resigning the SNP whip in the wake of an ongoing police investigation into missing donations from Women for Independence, the pro-Scottish independence group she founded. She denies any wrongdoing.