Kurşun, former editor-in-chief of Azadiya Welat, Turkey’s sole Kurdish-language daily, was arrested at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, according to the press freedom group Bia. He was charged under the country’s Anti-Terror Law with spreading propaganda for the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, in the paper’s 2007 and 2008 coverage.
In May 2010, Kurşun was sentenced to 166 years and six months in prison on 103 counts of spreading “propaganda on behalf of the terrorist organization” and “committing crimes on behalf of the organization,” according to Dogan News Agency. In 2010, the Journalists Association of Turkey honored Kurşun with its Press Freedom Award.
In a special supplement titled “Arrested Newspaper,” written by jailed journalists and distributed by several dailies in July 2011, Kurşun wrote that “my file has no other evidence in it but newspapers.” He also faulted the official translation of his work, saying it was done by someone not fluent in Kurdish.