A German journalist detained by police in Diyarbakır

German journalist Hinrich Schultze was briefly detained by Turkish police in Diyarbakır on Monday.
A German journalist was briefly detained by Turkish police in Diyarbakır on Monday. It is learned that journalist Hinrich Schultze went from Hamburg to Diyarbakır to cover the Nevruz celebrations to be held on Tuesday.
Schultze was stopped by police while covering the HDP and DBP administrators handing out Nevruz invitations to the people in the Ofis district of Diyarbakır province and was subjected to a search before being forced into an armored police vehicle.

Policemen also attempted to detain Dihaber reporter Bilal Gündem who was at the scene but did not take him into custody after the reactions of the people in the area.

The German journalist has been interrogated by the police and was released half an hour later following the efforts and talks of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) officials in the city.

The arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel in İstanbul on Feb. 27, 2017, as part of a investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of the Turkish Energy Minister and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, has led to tension between Turkey and Germany.

Addressing people during a meeting in İstanbul on March 5, Erdoğan had said: “Chancellor [Merkel] told me when she came here… She said, ‘You have a detained journalist [Deniz Yücel]. We would be happy if you release him.’ I told her: ‘He is not a journalist, he is a terrorist.”

While calling Yücel a “German agent” and a “representative of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK],” Erdoğan also repeated his claims that Yücel had been hiding in the German Consulate General in İstanbul for a month.

Nationwide protests took place in Germany and other European countries after Yücel’s arrest, with demands made for his immediate release.

As of March 1, 2017, Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has confirmed that 200 journalists and media workers are behind bars in Turkey, a world record by any measure. Of these journalists, 179 are arrested pending trial and without a conviction. Most of the journalists do not even know what the charges are or what evidence, if any, the government has because the indictments were not filed yet.

The Turkish government is apparently using arbitrary arrests as part of intimidation campaign to suppress critical coverage, muzzle independent media and silence journalists. Only 21 journalists who are in jail were convicted while the rest are in abusive and long pre-trial detentions. Moreover, sweeping detention warrants have been issued for 92 journalists who are forced to live in exile abroad or remain at large in Turkey.

March 20, 2017

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