European Federation of Journalists

Question to Turkey: Why are these journalists detained without reason?

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are strongly preoccupied by the ongoing detention without any official explanation of journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHA news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHA correspondent) Eray Saygin and Derya Okatan (ETHA) in Turkey.

According to information received by the EFJ-IFJ, all of them have been detained by Turkish police operation on 25 December at 04:30 from their homes in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir. Derya Okatan  is on hunger strike against “state of emergency rulings” since 25 December and Ömer Celik  has been beaten during his arrest.

Under the state of emergency, Turkish authorities have extended the detention period from 4 to 30 days and lawyers have no access to journalists for more than 5 days.

No official reason has been given to these arrests and the journalists are being badly treated in detention. According to Turkish media, all of them are unofficially detained and punished because they have published articles about the leaked emails of Berat Albayrak (Turkish Minister of Energy and President Erdogan’s son in law) provided to the media by Redhack hacker group.

The EFJ-IFJ are asking the Turkish Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, to respond to these facts and to immediately release all our colleagues. These new media freedom violations will be reported to the Council of Europe’s platform for the safety and protection of journalists and to the Mapping Media Freedom platform.

The Federations also remain vigilant in following up the arrest on 29 December of investigative journalist Ahmet Şık over several tweets and articles for daily Cumhuriyet. His lawyer recently told media that he had been kept in isolation in prison and denied drinking bottled water for three days as well as accessing to the news.

Photo: Derya Okatan (ETHA)

Photo Credit: Bianet