TURKEY: SEEMO calls on Turkish authorities to release detained media workers

TURKEY, TURKEY, 02/02/2017, 10:30

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemned the detention of Ozgur Gundem daily editor Hulya Karakaya in Turkey on August 3, at Diyabakir airport.

SEEMO recently expressed its support for the JINHA news agency and other Kurdish media outlets in the country that have been blocked by the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication (TIB).

Following the SEEMO protest letter, Karakaya was arrested at the airport by police members along with Nizamettin Yilmaz, distributor for the daily, and Azadiya Welat. Only Yilmaz currently remains in custody under charges of ‘distributing illegal newspapers’, even though Ozgur Gundem is a registered, legal news outlet. JINHA initially reported that Hulya Karakaya had been detained and accused of being a member of a terrorist organization.

‘Days after SEEMO called on authorities in the country to cease their pressure against media outlets, especially Kurdish ones, things were taken one step further with the arrests of individuals under the guise of baseless accusations. Similar charges are often brought up against media workers who disagree with the ruling establishment in Turkey. We insist that all journalists must be released from detention, and any charges against them immediately dropped’, said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.

SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.

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