Monday, January 09, 2012
TURKEY ARRESTS KURDISH JOURNALISTS
26 journalists were arrested in Turkey on December 20, in a broad operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Kurdistan Communities Union that lead to 38 imprisonments. The journalists are employees of Kurdish newspapers and agencies, and they have been arrested under the Turkish anti-terrorism law, with the charge they spread propaganda on behalf of terrorist groups through their journalistic activities. Five journalists from Turkey’s main Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem were among those detained, as well as reporters from Birgün and Vatan newspapers. This operation is part of a broader attempt made by Ankara’s authorities to tackle Kurdish minorities and groups in the country, involving also military means in a conflict that is more than 30 years old. Several European and American free speech agencies and human rights activists have protested against the arrest of journalist in Turkey: the International Federation of Journalists reports that more than 70 journalist are in jail at the moment, expressing great concern for the Turkish media standards and respect of personal rights.