Turkish court sends journalist Karataş to jail over pro-Kurdish forum gathering

Journalist Yusuf Karataş

A columnist of Evrensel daily newspaper, Yusuf Karataş was put in pre-trial arrest as part of an investigation into the Democratic People’s Congress (DTK), the largest political forum gathering held by Kurdish non-governmental organizations in the recent past.

Diyarbakır 1st Penal Court of Peace has decided to arrest journalist Karataş for attending DTK’s gatherings and sent him to Diyarbakır D Type prison. Tugay Bek, a lawyer representing Karataş, said the investigation in question was carried out in between 2009 and 2013.

“With no such measure was taken since then, the current decisions to jail Yusuf Karataş and other DTK activists shows that the investigation was reconsidered with political motives,” he said adding that even the presidential adviser Cemil Ertem attended some of DTK’s gathering in the past.

DTK lays out main principles of Kurdish demand for self-rule in Turkey’s southeast.

The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has also documented that 273 journalists are now in jails as of July 26, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 249 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 109 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 28, 2017

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