Turkish court temporarily detains journo over remarks on PKK bombing

A Turkish court has temporarily detained journalist Ayşenur Arslan for saying the bomber of Oct. 1 PKK blast "maybe didn't know he had a remote-controlled explosive on him," because "it is so pointless" to die without doing anything. Arslan's segment on opposition channel Halk TV was canceled after her remarks as a prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into her on charges of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization" and "praising crime and criminals."

Duvar English

Turkish journalist Ayşenur Arslan was temporarily detained on Oct. 3 for her remarks about the 1 Oct. bombing in front of the Interior Ministry building.

In her evening segment on opposition Halk TV discussing the Oct. 1 bombing, Arslan on Oct. 2 questioned the manner and method of the attack and said, “Maybe he (the bomber) didn’t know he had a remote-controlled explosive on him. It is pointless that he detonated the explosive without doing anything,” adding “I do not understand why he chose to do it so blatantly when it is possible to remotely detonate a car-bomb.”

A bomb attack took place on Oct. 1, the first day of the legislative term, in front of the Interior Ministry building in Turkey’s capital Ankara. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the attack. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya also stated that “One terrorist blew himself up and another was neutralized at the scene,” adding that two police officers were slightly injured.

Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) started an investigation into journalist Arslan after her remarks, while Halk TV declared cancelling Arslan’s segment “the Media Quarter” (“Medya Mahallesi”).

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into Arslan on Oct. 3 for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization" and "praising crime and criminals."

The court released the veteran journalist after her interrogation. Arslan made a statement in front of the Courthouse after her release and said “No detainment procedures were applied. The prosecutor questioned me about the gist of my statements. I explained I had no intention of praising terrorists and reiterated my concerns about the attack. After all, I am released. We shall see whether this results in a lawsuit, or a nonsuit.”

She drew attention to imprisoned opposition MPs, journalists and Gezi defendants and said she will be in reticence until she recuperates, having been poor in health.