Turkey’s Press Council has lambasted the detainment of 32 journalists in a building in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, where a news agency and a Kurdish publishing newspaper is located, saying that loutish attitudes towards journalists should be brought to an end.
“While the world discusses that there is no press freedom in Turkey, journalists have once again been detained loutishly. It is unacceptable that security forces raid a building, where newspapers, news agencies and an association is located on grounds that one person ran inside the building after incidents occurred in Diyarbakır, stormed inside by breaking windows and glasses, destroy the newspapers’ archives, computers with a controversial search decision, which was understood to have been taken in a hurry, and detain more than 20 journalists” read a part of the statement issued by the council on Sept. 29.
Police released the 32 journalists early Sept. 29, after detaining them inside a building where the Dicle News Agency, a news agency dedicated to reporting about the region, Azadiya Welat newspaper, a Kurdish daily and Kürdi-Der, an association working on Kurdish rights, are also located. Police raided the building on grounds that a person, who was allegedly escaping a scene, entered the building.
The computers, files and archives of the Dicle News Agency were also searched after a search warrant was issued.
“People have the right to get news from whichever daily or newspaper they wish. Blocking this right is a barrier put before prevalent communication and it is thought-provoking that such loutish acts take place one month before the elections” added the council.
The statement said tests for gunshot residues on the 32 detained journalists were also conducted, adding that detaining journalists on grounds of gunshot residues testing was unacceptable.
Meanwhile, two deputies of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Hüda Kaya and Levent Tüzel, Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) head Uğur Güç and DİSK Basın-İş head Faruk Eren also publically protested the detainments and raids.