The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, journalists, and media executives, condemns the detention of 11 Kurdish journalists in Turkey on October 25, 2022. The detentions took place across several different cities as part of what authorities claimed was an “anti-terror operation”. Turkey regularly abuses anti-terror law to target journalists, who are frequently subject to arbitrary charges and imprisonment. The detentions fit a pattern of serious attacks on press freedom in Turkey. IPI calls on Turkish authorities to release these 11 journalists and all other reporters behind bars.
On October 25, 11 journalists were detained in cities of Ankara, İstanbul, Van, Diyarbakır, Urfa, Mersin and Mardin in simultaneous house raids as part of an anti-terror investigation led by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Diyarbakır-based Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) reported that those detained were Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) managing editor Diren Yurtsever; MA reporters Deniz Nazlım, Selman Güzelyüz, Zemo Ağgöz, Berivan Altan, Hakan Yalçın, Emrullah Acar, and Ceylan Şahinli; and JINNEWS reporters Habibe Eren and Öznur Değer.
Authorities placed details of the case under a 24-hour access restriction. This is part of a wider pattern in Turkey by which lawyers are often denied access to journalist clients and case information, which makes it difficult to mount an effective defense. According to DFG, another JINNEWS reporter, Derya Ren, was detained as part of a separate investigation, the details of which are also not yet known.