Police detained İsminaz Temel, a reporter and editor for the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), along with one of her colleagues and several socialist lawyers, politicians, and activists, in a series of raids in Istanbul on October 19, 2017, according to the independent news site Bianet.
A court on October 26 ordered Temel and her colleague Havva Cuştan to be jailed pending trial, the ETHA agency reported. The court charged Temel with "being a member of a [terrorist] organization" and "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," ETHA reported.
Police threatened to rape and kill the journalists, and they burned their press credentials, according to an ETHA report that cited the journalists’ lawyers. CPJ was unable to verify the report.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. did not respond to CPJ’s emailed request for comment sent in late 2018 on claims that jailed journalists are mistreated.
The lawyers said that the journalists were questioned about stories they produced and books that were confiscated from the house that they shared, ETHA reported. Authorities accused ETHA of being affiliated with the banned Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), the lawyers said in the ETHA report.
In a letter that Temel sent to the opposition daily Cumhuriyetin November 2017, she said that she was arrested for her journalistic work and that evidence cited against her including her reporting on protests and funerals and memorial services for MLKP militants who fought in Syria against the extremist group Islamic State. Temel said that in police photos showing her at the events, she can be seen with either her camera or a notebook.
Temel was detained in Bakırköy Women’s Prison in Istanbul.
An Istanbul court on July 17, 2018 released Cuştan from prison, but ordered Temel to remain in custody, according to reports. Their next hearing was scheduled for November 29, 2018.
In August 2018, Temel answered questions about her conditions for a poll for imprisoned journalists by the P24 Independent Journalism Association. She said that she needed treatment for hearing problems, but because prison authorities said she would have to be handcuffed to see a doctor outside of prison, she refused to go. The journalist said that the prison food was unhealthy and access to hot water and the prison infirmary were insufficient. Temel added that letters were sometimes delivered late or lost, there were heating problems in winter, and opposition newspapers were unavailable.