Turkey, top jailer of journalists, detains two more

Turkey has detained two journalists on Monday in two different investigations, local media reported.

Police raided the apartment of Muyesser Yildiz, the Ankara bureau chief of Odatv news portal.

According to the media outlet, they detained her on “military espionage” charges after Ankara Prosecution Office launched an investigation.

The details of the investigation or her alleged spying activities were not immediately clear. It was also not said for which nation she was spying.

Earlier on Monday, TELE 1 channel’s chief editor Merdan Yanardag announced on his Twitter account that the police detained Ismail Dukel, the Ankara representative of the TV channel.

“Our colleague has been detained at 7.30 am today. The reason is unknown,” said Yanardag.

Stating that a prosecutor had issued a four-day custody period for the journalist, Yanardag criticized the decision.

“The detaining of a journalist who could have given their testimony by invitation from a prosecutor doesn’t and shouldn’t exist in democracies.”

According to an international press watchdog, Turkey is the top jailer in the world of journalists with the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, often accusing journalists, academics, and human rights activists of spying or terrorism-related charges.

The International Press Institute (IPI) said in its Turkey report in November that hundreds more face prosecution on terrorism-related charges, raising concerns about the situation of the media in the country.

The group criticized the Turkish government for applying an “extended, politically motivated crackdown against the media,” which notably increased following a coup attempt in July 2016.

According to a report by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA),  98 journalists are behind the bars while 190 journalists are on trial. Jailed Journos, a platform recording the trials of journalists in Turkey, says 161 media workers are currently in jail in the country.


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