An American journalist in Turkey, Lindsey Snell, released on Wednesday from a Turkish prison, said her husband was arrested for having a dollar bill, considered sufficient proof in the country of affiliation with an alleged terrorist organization.
Snell, who was arrested in Turkey on Aug. 6 and released Oct. 12, wrote on Twitter that “Turkey believes anyone possessing a $1 bill is ‘with Gulen.’ They arrested my husband because I had 5 of them in my apartment.”
Following a botched coup on July 15 Turkey has accused Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen of masterminding the attempt and labeled the movement inspired by him as a terrorist organization. According to the Turkish government, one dollar bills are an encrypted messaging system among members of the movement. Consequently, many people carrying one dollar bills are arrested, including columnist and professor Mehmet Altan.
American journalist Snell also noted that when she closed her bank account in Turkey, they left $4 in it because they won’t handle $1 bills.
She also added that she heard from the State Department that an American merely transiting İstanbul was recently arrested for having a dollar bill.
Snell was detained in Turkey after claiming that militants in Syria had kidnapped her. She was arrested for “violating a military zone” after she crossed back into the country from Syria, where she had been filming civilians, although she was accused of espionage by the Turkish media. In response to the allegations, Snell said: ¨What the Turkish press was saying about me. Absurd…but then, many Americans also accused me of being CIA.”