A Turkish court on June 16 ruled for the arrest of 16 Kurdish journalists who were among the 22 people detained on "terrorism charges" in a massive operation last week in the Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
The journalists were being held in detention since June 8. Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) said that out of the 22 detained people, 16 journalists were arrested by a court order, while four journalists and two media workers were released under judicial control.
8 Haziran'da evlerine ve iş yerlerine yapılan baskınlarla gözaltına alınan 20 Kürt gazeteciden 16'sı tutuklandı. pic.twitter.com/xgHETWkC9k— MLSA (@mlsaturkey) June 16, 2022
Turkish police raided on June 8 the homes of several Kurdish journalists working for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency, the all-female Jin News website, a production company called Pel, and the Dicle Fırat Journalists' Association.
During the raids, police officers seized computers, hard drives and other work equipment from the journalists’ houses and media offices.
The detentions led to protests with Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası (TGS), Disk-Basın, Türkiye Gazetciler Cemiyeti (TGC) and Gazeteciler Cemiyeti Derneği (GCD) unanimously urging for the journalists' immediate release.
The Turkish authorities have not yet disclosed the accusations against the journalists as there is a confidentiality order on the investigation file.
Turkey ranks a low 149 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders's (RSF) World Press Freedom Index, which describes it as a country in which "all possible means are used to undermine critics."