Turkish police detain 29 people including journalists and academics in İstanbul

Turkish government has detained 29 Kurds and Alevis, including journalists and academics, in İstanbul on Wednesday.

According to a report by Berlin-based online news portal Artı Gerçek, 29 people, including Veli Büyükşahin, who is a columnist for the news portal and writer Güneş Daşlı, were detained during police teams’ house raids in İstanbul on Wednesday morning.

It was reported that Büyükşahin is also the Chairman of the Board of Executives of closed-down pro-Alevi TV10 TV channel. Last week, Artı Gerçek’s another columnist, Fadıl Öztürk, was detained in İzmir province.  

It was also reported that Veysi Altındaş, Muş University academic, who is among the signatories of the “Peace Declaration” under the title of “We won’t be party to this crime,” is among the detainees.

Some of the detainees were also reported as the members and local executives of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The names of some of the detainees are as follow: Abdullah Geldi, Veysi Altıntaş, Zeki Nergiz, Deniz Şimşek, Nurcan Basdinç, Cemil Demirbaş, Yavuz Akar, Gülizar Teymur, Selahattin Yılmaz, Zeynep Değirmenci, Erkin Oruç, Cemşit Atalay, Fuat Mızraklı, Bayram Kara, Adnan Kaçmaz, Duygu Kaçmaz, Binali Palandöken, Ahmet Avşar, Fehmi Morkoç, Rahim Timar, Edip Karçik, Selahattin İpek, Nebahat Avşar, Halis Kandilci, Felek Avcı, Murat Bilken and Silivri HDP District Co-chair M. Ali Altın.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 242 journalists and media workers are in jails as of January 4, 2018, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 215 are arrested pending trial, only 27 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 138 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.

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