Turkey detains 16 Kurdish journalists over alleged ‘terrorist’ hyperlinks
A Turkish court docket has jailed 16 Kurdish journalists for allegedly spreading terrorist propaganda and “belonging to a terrorist organisation”.
The media staff had been accused of being near the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Social gathering (HDP) within the southeast metropolis of Diyarbakir.
The HDP, the third-largest group within the Turkish parliament, is accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being the “political showcase” of the Kurdistan Staff’ Social gathering (PKK), which is taken into account a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its Western allies.
A complete of twenty journalists had been arrested earlier this month for alleged hyperlinks to the PKK, and 4 individuals have since been launched beneath judicial supervision.
NGOs have criticised the most recent jail sentences amid eroding press freedoms in Turkey.
“We live within the darkest days of our nation so far as press freedom is worried,” mentioned Nazim Bilgin, the president of the Journalists’ Affiliation of Turkey.
Since 2016, a number of hundred HDP members have been arrested, together with its charismatic chief Selahattin Demirtas.
The newest arrests come only one 12 months earlier than the subsequent presidential election in Turkey, as Ankara says it’s making ready an offensive in opposition to Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.
Turkey at the moment ranks 149th out of 180 nations on the Reporters With out Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index.