Turkish authorities on Wednesday detained 21 journalists in southeastern Turkey’s Diyarbakır province, Turkish media reported.
The detained journalists worked for pro-Kurdish news outlets JinNews and the Mezopotamya news agency (MA). Among those who were detained were MA’s editor-in-chief Aziz Oruç, JinNews news director Safiye Alagas and JinNews editor-in-chief Gülşen Koçuk.
The personal belongings and electronic devices of the journalists were seized by the police during raids on their homes.
The journalists’ lawyer Resul Temur contacted the prosecutor to find out why they were detained and to see his clients. However, the prosecutor said investigations were continuing and that he was reluctant to disclose the reason for the detentions. He only said the journalists were detained for their journalism activities and servicing news for foreign television stations.
Turkey is one of the world’s biggest jailers of professional journalists and was ranked 153rd among 180 countries in terms of press freedom in 2021, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Turkish journalists are often targeted and jailed for their journalistic activities.