2 journalists detained in house raids in Turkey

Journalists Derya Us and Nurcan Yalçın

Eight people including two journalists have been detained in house raids in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır in southeastern Turkey, the Turkish Minute news website reported, citing the Media and Law Association (MLSA).

The detentions of journalists Derya Us and Nurcan Yalçın took place in the early hours of Monday as part of an investigation launched by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s office.

The detainees were allowed to see their lawyers at the Diyarbakır Police Station, but due to a confidentiality order, no details have been released regarding the reason behind the detention of the two journalists and the other six suspects.

However, it is frequent for Kurdish journalists in Turkey to experience legal harassment on terror-related charges for reporting on sensitive issues such as Kurdish rights.

The international community, including human rights organizations, has repeatedly condemned these actions, which they see as attempts to stifle freedom of expression and suppress dissenting voices.

Kurdish journalists in Turkey frequently face legal harassment, stand trial and are given jail sentences for covering issues related to Kurds and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies.

Rights groups routinely accuse Turkey of undermining media freedom by arresting journalists and shutting down critical media outlets, especially since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan survived a failed coup in July 2016.

Turkey is one of the world’s biggest jailers of professional journalists and was ranked 158th among 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) World Press Freedom Index published on May 3.

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