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Turkish journalist detained on terrorism charges

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Ayşegül Tözeren, a columnist for the Evrensel daily and a poet, was detained by police early Tuesday on suspicion of terrorist links, according to Fatih Polat, the editor-in-chief of the daily.

“I spoke with Ayşegül’s mother by phone. ‘There are many police officers at our home. They are taking Ayşegül into custody. They aren’t saying anything about it,’ she said,” Polat tweeted, adding that her lawyer would not be able to see Tözeren for at least 24 hours.

Her lawyer was later told by officials that Tözeren was being investigated for alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, which has been waging an insurgency in Turkey’s Southeast for decades.

In a column on Tuesday Polat criticized the detention, saying that such investigations into journalists could be conducted without a police raid on their homes.

In the aftermath of a 2016 coup attempt Turkey jailed over a thousand journalists on terrorism charges.

Turkey was ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released in April by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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