Seda Taşkın, a reporter for pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency, was detained by Turkish police in Muş province on Wednesday.
According to a report by pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency, journalist Taşkın was stopped by the police in Muş province where she was to cover a news story. Police searched Taşkın’s bag and confiscated her camera. She was released after the search.
However, police called Taşkın at night and summoned her to the police department to sign minutes. On her way to the police department, Taşkın was reportedly detained by the police again and taken to the provincial security directorate.
Meanwhile, the popular anchorman of FOX TV’s primetime news, Fatih Portakal, has said on Tuesday that he recently received a death threat. “This is the result of the horrible political climate that politicians have created in this country,” Portakal wrote on Twitter, sharing a message sent to him.
“I’m being blunt: I will kill Fatih Portakal … I will also kill the owner of FOX TV for employing a traitor [like Portakal],” read the threatening messages that he shared. “How could this person be so blind as to write such sentences?” Portakal wrote, adding that he has taken legal action, “as before.”
It was also reported that investigations have been launched against journalists Bilal Güldem and Zuhal Atlan for the questions they asked their guests on their TV show about Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
An investigation was launched by Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office about journalists Güldem and Atlan and they have reportedly given their depositions in the Diyarbakır Security Directorate Anti-terror Unit. Güldem has reportedly been probed over alleged “terrorist propaganda” for a question he asked guests about Öcalan on his weekly show Rojev (Agenda).
An investigation was also launched against Solidarity with Dungeons Initiative co-spokesperson Mehmet Temizyüz, who was one of the guests on TV show, with the same accusation, while it’s not clear whether a summary was prepared against the other guest, Feleknas Uca, a deputy of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Prosecutor’s Office has also launched a probe against journalist Zuhal Atlan, host of the weekly Mor Panorama (Purple Panorama) broadcast on the 1HaberVar Platform. Atlan is under investigation for asking a question about Öcalan to Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Diyarnakır Co-Chair Ruken Akça, with the allegation of “praising crime and/or criminals,” for which she has given a deposition to police. It was reported that Atlan’s guest Ruken Akça also gave a deposition as part of an investigation against her for alleged “terrorist propaganda.”
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 248 journalists and media workers are in jails as of December 19, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 221 are arrested pending trial, only 27 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 139 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.