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3 Turkish journalists detained overnight in İstanbul

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Turkish police on Saturday night detained journalists Zeynep Kuray, İrfan Tunççelik and Canan Coşkun, the Diken news website reported.

Coşkun, who works for Mediascope TV, spent the night in custody for failing to pay damages ordered by a court for one of her reports. She was released today after the payment was made.

“My friends collected TL 12,600 [$2,100], and I was set free. There was no need for the detention warrant. I would have come myself had you invited me. After all, courthouses are my beat,” Coşkun tweeted.

Kuray was detained following a demonstration at İstanbul’s famous Spice Bazaar protesting ongoing hunger strikes in Turkish prisons. Tunççelik, who works for the Mezopotamya news agency, was tracking another protest by the “Peace Mothers,” a group of women whose children were impacted by conflicts in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast.

A press freedom report by the Council of Europe recently qualified Turkey as the world’s largest jailer of journalists.

The country was also ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

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