Zekeriya Güzüpek, former head of the now-closed pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency (DİHA), and journalist Mehmet Ali Ertaş, an editor for DİHA’s Kurdish service, were detained in Diyarbakır during a police raid on their homes in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The houses of the chairman and editor of DİHA, which was shut down by a Turkish government decree under the state of emergency that was declared following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, were raided by police teams in Diyarbakır’s central Bağlar district at 04:00 Wednesday morning. Following a search of the houses, both journalists were taken into custody.
Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 264 journalists were in jail as of May 27, most in pre-trial detention. Of those in Turkish prisons, 241 were arrested pending trial and 23 journalists have been convicted. Warrants are outstanding for 105 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt.
The government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the coup attempt while the movement strongly denies any involvement. (SCF)