Turkish police raid Kurdish-language newspaper office – The Guardian

More than 20 staff of a Kurdish-language newspaper in Turkey were detained during a police raid on its headquarters.

Among those arrested in the raid on the daily Azadiya Welat in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakır were four people, including a child, who were visiting the offices.

According to a report by the pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency police told staff the raid followed a tip from someone who noted the number of people going in and out of the paper’s office and suspected terrorists were meeting there.

“The detention of at least 23 employees of the newspaper Azadiya Welat is the latest escalation in Turkey’s staggering campaign to silence critical voices,” said Nina Ognianova of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Turkish authorities, she said, “should immediately and unconditionally release all those detained and cease trying to intimidate the press.”

The raid came two weeks after a Turkish court ordered the temporary closure of the country’s oldest pro-Kurdish daily newspaper, Özgür Gündem, for allegedly publishing pro-PKK propaganda.

Days later, an Istanbul court ordered the arrest of Özgür Gündem’s editor-in-chief, Zana Kaya, and managing editor, İnan Kızılkaya, on charges of being members of the PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organisation.

A member of Özgür Gündem’s advisory board, the award-winning novelist Aslı Erdoğan, was also arrested over alleged links to the PKK.

Twenty-two people detained during the raid were later released.

Sources: CPJ/Hurriyet Daily News


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