Journalist detained over terrorist propaganda accusations

Photo: MA

Fırat Can Arslan, a correspondent for the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), was detained in the early hours of Wednesday in Ankara as part of an investigation by the Kırşehir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, MA reported.

According to MA, Arslan was accused of disseminating terrorist propaganda. The police seized his computer and mobile phone. 

Arslan was also indicted in March for covering the funeral of Nagihan Akarsel, a Kurdish journalist, academic and women’s rights activist from Turkey who was killed in Iraq in October. 

The Kurdish journalists are accused of membership in the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Kurdish journalists in Turkey frequently face legal harassment, stand trial and are given jail sentences for covering issues related to Kurds and the PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

According to a report by MA, 34 journalists have been arrested for their work in the last 11 months as part of separate investigations across Turkey.

Dozens of critical journalists were jailed in Turkey, while many media outlets were closed down in the aftermath of a coup attempt in 2016.

Turkey is ranked 165th in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2023 World Press Freedom Index, among 180 countries, not far from North Korea, which occupies the bottom of the list.

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