The IPI global network condemns the intimidation and violence used by the Turkish police against two female journalists who were covering a demonstration in Istanbul. Journalists must be free to cover protests in public places. IPI urges Turkish authorities to take immediate steps to end police aggression against journalists and hold those responsible for such actions to account.

On January 14, 2021, journalists Yadigar Aygün and Tuba Apaydın were detained by the police while covering the Enes Kara protests in İstiklal, Istanbul. Youth organizations were marching to protest the death of Enes Kara, a second-year student at the Fırat University Faculty of Medicine who was reportedly driven to suicide in the dormitory.

Aygün, who works for Gazete Karinca, and Apaydın, a correspondent for New Democracy, were reporting on the protests and taking pictures of the young demonstrators. However, police then attempted to prevent the journalists from watching and documenting the demonstration, the journalists told IPI. When Aygün and Apaydın refused to give way, they were violently detained. Officers reportedly pulled Aygün’s hair and took the journalists’ phones. Although the pair stated that they were journalists, the police continued to detain them with reverse handcuffs. When detained, they were not allowed to speak to their lawyers. After staying a whole night in a detention vehicle, the journalists were released on January 15.

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