Turkish police detain 15 people, including journalists and lawyers in İstanbul

Turkish police raided offices of Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF), Law Office of the Oppressed (EHB) and Etkin News Agency (ETHA) and detained dozens including journalists working for ETHA in İstanbul on Thursday morning.

Journalist İsminaz Temel

According to a report by ETHA, at least 15 socialists were detained by Turkish police including ETHA’s editor İsminaz Temel and correspondent Havva Cuştan.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Centre for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 259 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of October 17, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 235 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 133 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.

ETHA named other detainees as Nihat Göktaş, Özgen Sadet, Metal Tatar, Sercan Genç, Mazlum Demirtaş, Mehmet Aslan, Ercan Kakça, Hünkar Hudai Yurtsever, İlhan Aslan, Onur Binbir and Ali Düzgün.

Lawyers Özlem Gümüştaş and Sezin Uçar

Turkish police also detained lawyers Özlem Gümüştaş and Sezin Uçar. ETHA reports that there is also an arrest warrant for lawyer Gülhan Kara. Gümüştaş, Uçar and Kara are working for Law Office for the Oppressed.

Turkish government has arrested 551 lawyers while it has been carrying out criminal prosecution about 1390 lawyers since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

There are also reports of ill-treatment of Turkish police during the raids. Several of the detained were beaten and insulted by the police. A group of Turkish police has also written “Grey Wolves came” on the wall of ETHA correspondent Havva Cuştan’s home. “Grey Wolves” refer to an ultra-nationalist Turkish organization which is described as the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) paramilitary wing.

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