Seven journalists detained by Turkish authorities: CPJ

At least seven journalists have been arrested in Turkey during the past week according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

According to a statement by the international organization, Turkish authorities arrested the seven for doing their work.

Kurdish-language editor for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency was detained at her home in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır.

According to the CPJ police arrested a further five journalists the next who were covering protests against political appointees in Mardin. It cited a report by the Mezopotamya News Agency.

The seventh journalist to be arrested on August 20 was Aysegul Tozeren, a writer and columnist for the leftist daily Evrensel, at her home in Istanbul.

“The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shows no sign of easing its clampdown on Turkey’s media and the unjust imprisonment of reporters for doing their jobs,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York.

“The journalists arrested since August 19, as well as the dozens of other journalists sitting in Turkish jails for their work, should be released immediately.”

Authorities told Karahan that she was detained for her “journalistic activities,” according to the Mezopotamya report.

Mezopotamya identified the journalists arrested at the protest in Mardin as Mezopotamya reporters Ahmet Kanbal and Mehmet Sah Oruc, Jin News Agency reporter Rojda Aydın, and freelance journalists Nurcan Yalçın and Halime Parlak. The five were arrested as police dispersed the protest with tear gas and water cannons, which also saw authorities injure three parliamentary deputies of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, according to that report.

Police did not offer any explanation for Tozeren’s arrest and did not allow her lawyers to visit her in custody, citing a 24-hour restriction period, according to Evrensel.

CPJ said it had emailed the Turkish Ministry of Justice and the General Directorate of Police for comment on the arrests but had so far not received any response.

The CPJ says Turkey is the world’s worst jailer of journalists, with at least 68 in jail in direct relation to their work at the time of CPJ’s 2018 prison census.

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