Journalists in Police Custody – Crackdowns on Homes and Offices
December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
More than 25 journalists were taken into police custody on 21 December during crackdowns on offices of news agencies and newspapers in several cities. The raids and custodies are part of the “KCK operation”.
More than 25 journalists were taken into police custody in the course of operations against journalists in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Van, Adana and Diyarbakır on Tuesday morning (20 December). The crackdowns were part of the so-called KCK operation related to the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Employees of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), the Fırat News Agency (ANF) and the Özgür Gündem newspaper are among the journalists in custody as well as a photo reporter of the Agence France-Presse and a reporter of the Vatan newspaper.
The journalists in custody were taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute for a health check. Subsequently, they were brought to the Police Directorate.
DİHA reporter Berxwedan Yaruk informed bianet on the phone about the raid in the morning and was taken into custody by the police right afterwards.
Yaruk said that the DİHA and Özgür Gündem offices were raided by the police in the morning. Moreover, the employees’ homes were searched since the early morning, he reported.
Also Yaruk’s home was raided. He announced that Nahide Ermiş, member of the editorial board of the Özgür Halk ve Demokratik Modernite magazine, was taken into police custody at her home.
“A list shown by the police included names from ANF, Özgür Gündem and Özgür Halk ve Demokratik Modernite, among them Ömer Çelik, Çiğdem Aslan and Cihan Albay.
It was reported that the police raided a tent in Van that served as a DİHA office. All hard disks were confiscated. DİHA reporter Evrim Kepenk was taken into custody.
DİHA Istanbul news director Fatma Koçak and ETHA editor Arzu Demir are also in custody.
ANF and BirGün reporter Zeynep Kuray was taken into custody during a crackdown on her home.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) photo reporter Mustafa Özer was taken into custody too. This information was not confirmed by AFP but according to information of his relatives conveyed by the police Özer is in custody.
DİHA offices in Van, Diyarbakır, Ankara, Adana and Izmir were raided.
This is a list of journalists who were taken into police custody as state of affairs at 3.00 pm on 21 December:
Employees of DİHA and Özgür Gündem; DİHA editor-in-chief Fatma Koçak; DİHA concessionaire Zuhal Tekiner; DİHA Diyarbakır reporter Mazlum Özdemir; DİHA Van reporter Evrim Kepenek; DİHA Istanbul reporters Ömer Çelik and Çağdaş Kaplan; DİHA Urfa reporter Sadık Topaloğlu; DİHA Ankara reporters Kenan Kırıkkaya, İsmail Yıldız, Sevinç Tunceli, Güneş Ünsal, Nuri Fırat, Ziya Çiçek, Çiğdem Aslan, Ramazan Teköz, Semiha Alankuş, Ertuş Bozkurt, Diler Demirel and Hüseyin Deniz; ETHA editor Arzu Demir; Birgün newspaper reporter Zeynep Kuray; AFP photo reporter Mustafa Özer; Vatan newspaper reporter Çağdaş Ulus; Demokratik Modernite magazine editorial board member Nahide Ermiş; Cihan Albay and Etik Agency manager Davut Uçar. (IC)