Journalist sent to jail for attending pro-Kurdish forum gathering

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Yusuf Karataş

Yusuf Karataş, a columnist for the Evrensel newspaper, was put in pretrial detention as part of an investigation into the Democratic People’s Congress (DTK), the largest political forum gathering held by Kurdish nongovernmental organizations in the recent past.

The Diyarbakır 1st Penal Court of Peace arrested Karataş for attending the DTK’s gatherings and sent him to the Diyarbakır D Type prison.

Tugay Bek, a lawyer representing Karataş, said the investigation into his client was carried out between 2009 and 2013.

“Considering that no such measure has been taken since then, the current decisions to jail Yusuf Karataş and other DTK activists shows that the investigation has been reviewed with political motives,” he said, adding that even presidential adviser Cemil Ertem attended some of the DTK’s gatherings in the past.

The DTK lays out the main principles of the Kurdish demand for self-rule in Turkey’s Southeast.

Turkey has arrested more than 275 journalists over the past year, of which more than 150 still remain in prison.

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