Journalist Yalçın arrested in Diyarbakır

Turkish journalist Nurcan Yalçın was arrested by a court of law on Monday, after her detention by police last Friday, Turkish media reported.

Yalçın was previously handed down a suspended sentence of three years, seven months and 22 days on terrorism charges due to her membership in a women’s association in southeastern Turkey.

“The journalist was detained at her home with no reason given,” said the Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) in a statement before her Monday arrest, calling for her immediate release.

Yalçın was sentenced at the sixth hearing of her trial at the Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court in November 2021. She was sentenced to two years, one month on conviction of aiding a terrorist organization and an additional one year, six months and 22 days on conviction of disseminating terrorist propaganda. The court suspended Yalçın’s sentence on the propaganda charges and imposed a travel ban in addition to judicial supervision.

Yalçın’s was indicted as part of an investigation into the Diyarbakır-based Rosa Women’s Association because she is a member of the association and was covering association events. She was facing a sentence of up to 15 years on terrorism charges. Informants also testified against her.

The court did not mention the name of any terrorist organization, but the Rosa Women’s Association is claimed to have links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US.

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, which is among the top jailers of journalists in the world, was ranked 153rd out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2021 World Press Freedom Index announced in April.

Most recently, Sedef Kabaş, a well-known television journalist, was arrested on January 22 for comments she made on air about Erdoğan on charges that she insulted the president.

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