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Turkey briefly detains journalist over anonymous 2017 complaint

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Turkish journalist Gülşen İşeri was detained on Wednesday morning while visiting a civil registry office for passport renewal in İstanbul and was released later in the day, according to a report by the Kronos news website.

İşeri was reportedly taken into custody over an online complaint filed against her in 2017 for allegedly “disseminating terrorist propaganda” in two of her books published back in 2010 and 2014 in which she discussed issues related to urban poverty in Turkey and the country’s urban transformation projects.

İşeri said no legal action was taken against the books at the time of their publication, adding that the books are still for sale in bookstores. She reportedly tried to file a complaint against the anonymous informant.

In August 2015 her house was raided by the police, who threatened her family at gunpoint, searching for evidence in another terrorism-related investigation.

Turkish journalists, media workers and authors frequently face terrorism charges on account of their publications, especially since a failed coup in July 2016.

The country has been described as one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world, as over a 100 journalists and media staff welcomed the new year behind bars and hundreds more are on trial though not in prison.

Turkey ranked 157th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) Press Freedom Index of 2019.

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