Turkish police raid home of pro-Kurdish Mesopotamia news agency journalist in İzmir

The pro-Kurdish Mesopotamia news agency (MA) reported that Turkish police forces conducted a raid on the house of their reporter for İzmir province, Ruken Demir, at around 05:00 Tuesday morning.

Ruken Demir

While Demir was not home at the time of the raid, police seized a computer and some books during the detailed search of the house. Demir was then taken into custody in Diyarbakır province following a raid on the house where she was staying. The MA journalist was detained by counterterrorism police based on an outstanding detention warrant.

According to figures compiled by the Platform for Solidarity With Jailed Journalists (TGDP), there were 219 journalists behind bars in Turkey as of August 6, 2018.

Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 237 journalists and media workers were in jail as of August 6, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 170 were under arrest pending trial while only 67 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 144 journalists who are living 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 some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

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