Police detain two journalists
Police in the southern Turkish province of Hatay detained Erdoğan Alayumat and Nuri Akman, two correspondents for the pro-Kurdish news website Dihaber last night as they worked, their employer reported today. Police detained them on a complaint that they were “suspicious,” according to the report. A third individual, İsa Nuri Demir, was detained alongside them, but released. At the time of publication, police were inspecting the two journalists’ cameras.
Court arraigns reporter on terrorism charges
A court in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır on July 12 arraigned Mehmet Çakmakçı, a reporter for the website Medyascope, on charges of “being a member of a [terrorist] organization,” ordering him jailed pending trial, the leftist daily newspaper Evrensel reported. The court ordered the case against him secret.
Newspaper employee detained incommunicado
Zeki Erdem, an employee for the pro-Kurdish daily Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, was detained in Urfa as he was travelling from Adana to Diyarbakır by bus on July 11, the website Gazete Karinca reported yesterday. Erdem is still kept at the police headquarters of the southeasten city of Urfa without access to a lawyer, the report said. His colleagues and family only learned of his whereabouts because he asked a lawyer visiting someone else to pass word. The reason for his detention was not immediately clear.
Dozens of arrest warrants for public broadcaster employees
The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has issued 34 arrest warrants for former employees of the official Anadolu News Agency, Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service reported yesterday, citing Anadolu. The former employees are accused of using the Bylock mobile phone app, which Turkish security agencies say followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen used to plot last year’s failed military coup.
[July 14, 2017]
Erdoğan says only two journalists jailed in Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today told the BBC that there were only two journalists jailed in Turkey, disputing that there were more than 100 journalists in Turkish prisons. “Please let us not deceive the world with these lies,” the president said, as reported by the pro-government daily newspaper Yeni Şafak’s English-language website. Erdoğan’s contention was that only two of the journalists jailed in Turkey held “yellow card,” which are given or cancelled at the discretion of the prime minister’s office.
[July 12, 2017]
Erdoğan defends detention of human rights defenders
In a July 8 press conference at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended the detention of Turkish human rights workers by implying that they were plotting to overthrow the government. “Unfortunately, they gathered…for a meeting which has the nature of a continuation of July 15,” the president said, referring to the failed military coup of July 15, 2016, Al-Jazeera reported. The president abruptly ended the press conference after the question, video of the event showed.
[July 10, 2017]