Turkish journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu (Photo courtesy of Dicle Müftüoğlu)

Turkish journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu held for 3 days

On June 3, 2022, Turkish authorities in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır detained Dicle Müftüoğlu, an editor for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency, held her until June 6, and then released her with a ban preventing her from leaving the country, according to news reports and Müftüoğlu, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.

Müftüoğlu, who is also the co-chair of the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association, a media advocacy group, said prosecutors were investigating her for allegedly financing terrorism after she sent money to two imprisoned former journalists from the shuttered pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency. She told CPJ she did not know whether she would be charged with a crime.

Müftüoğlu told CPJ that she sent money to Nedim Türfent and Ziya Ataman, journalists who are serving prison terms for alleged membership in terrorist groups.

“The money I send goes to the prison management, who transfers the money to electronic cards which can only be used in the prison cantina,” she told CPJ. “How can this be financing terrorism?”

The journalist said police first raided the wrong apartment searching for her on June 3; when her neighbors told her that authorities were looking for her, she went to a local police station, where she was detained.

Müftüoğlu said she was not questioned until the third day of her detention, when a prosecutor asked her about the money transfers; she said she believed her detention was an effort to discourage journalists from showing solidarity with their imprisoned colleagues.

CPJ emailed the Diyarbakır chief prosecutor’s office for comment, but did not receive any reply.