Arrested Kurdish reporter’s birth name referred to as ‘code name’ in case file

Authorities have referred to a Kurdish reporter’s birth name as a “code name” in the investigation file. Jinnews reporter Nazlıcan Yıldız, whose birth name is “Nujin,” was arrested earlier in February on accusations not revealed by the authorities due to a confidentiality order.

Cihan Başakçıoğlu / Gazete Duvar

The name of a reporter working for the Kurdish news outlet Jinnews has been regarded as a “code name” by the authorities. Nazlıcan Yıldız was detained on Feb. 6 by the anti-terror police teams in the Aegean province of İzmir. She was later arrested by a court order.

She was initially detained on Nov. 7, 2022 as part of an operation against “Freedom Students Initiative” (“Özgür Öğrenci İnsiyatifi” in Turkish). She was released under judicial control but was detained once again on Feb. 6 on the grounds that new evidence was included in her investigation file and on the basis of new witness testimonies. Also a confidentiality order was imposed on her case file.

Yıldız’s lawyer Serhat Işık said that when the reporter was detained once again on Feb. 6, the prosecutors did not ask for anything new. The questions addressed to her were the same as when she was detained on Oct. 7, the lawyer said. “The questions were related to legal press statements and demonstrations she joined when she was a student. We have found out that the statements of two witnesses, one secret, one open, were included in the case file and the witnesses gave testimonies about my clients. But the prosecutor’s office did not feel the need to ask my client about the witnesses’ statements,” the lawyer said, adding that the prosecutors referred her to the court with a demand of her imprisonment.  

The lawyer said the case file includes issues regarded as “absurd,” one of which is that the prosecutors referred to Nazlıcan’s Kurdish name as a “code name.”

Nazlıcan’s family wanted to give her the name of “Nujin,” which means “new life” in Kurdish, when she was born but since the birth registration office did not allow it, she was given a Turkish name (Nazlıcan). But, the young woman has been referred to as “Nujin” by her family and her friends all her life. “We even prepared a petition for a name change and for Nujin to be added to her official name. But at the prosecutor’s office and the court, the Kurdish name Nurjin given by her family has appeared before us as ‘the code name,’,” the lawyer said.

Lawyer Yıldız also said that since there is a confidentiality order on Nazlıcan’s case file, they do not know what she is exactly accused of. “We have to at least find out what kind of statements the witnesses gave. Since Nazlıcan has not been asked a question regarding this, we don’t know the content. We are waiting for the trial process,” he said. 

(English version by Didem Atakan)