Media worker detained in southeastern Turkey

Kadir Bayram, a cameraman for Piya Productions, was detained in the early hours of Tuesday in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır, the Evrensel daily reported.

According to Evrensel, the police raided his house and seized personal property but did not reveal the accusations behind Bayram’s detention.

Piya Productions produces Kurdish-focused shows on news, culture, arts, political debates and documentaries.

Bayram was also briefly detained in June 2022 as part of an operation overseen by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on charges of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Sixteen of the 21 journalists detained in the operation were arrested by a local court on June 16, 2022 after they had been held in custody for eight days, in a move that sparked outrage among opposition politicians, members of the press and rights activists.

Kurdish journalists in Turkey frequently face legal harassment, stand trial and are given jail sentences for covering issues related to Kurds and the PKK.

According to a May report by the Mezopotamya news agency (MA), 34 journalists had been arrested for their work in the preceding 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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