Turkish police detain six journalists in İzmir, including one Gazete Duvar correspondent

Police on Feb. 13 detained six journalists in Turkey’s Aegean İzmir Province in an early morning operation, including Cihan Başakçıoğlu of Gazete Duvar. The reason for the detainments was not revealed, as a confidentiality order was on the case.  

Duvar English

Turkish police on Feb. 13 detained six journalists from their homes in Turkey’s Aegean İzmir Province, including correspondent Cihan Başakçıoğlu of Gazete Duvar. 

Police also searched the home, and confiscated the cellphone of Başakçıoğlu during an early morning operation. He was brought to the Counter-terrorism branch of the İzmir Police Department.

The other detained journalists were Semra Turan, Delal Akyüz, and Tolga Güney of the pro-Kurdish Mesopotamia Agency (MA), Melike Aydın of the Kurdish all-female JinNews, and pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy and Equality (DEM) Party press member Fatma Funda Akbulut. 

Police did not reveal the details of the detainments, as there was a confidentiality order by the court. The journalists were not allowed to meet with their attorneys either. 

Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) announced that it would assist in the defense of the detained journalists. 

Reporting by the Demirören News Agency (DHA) suggested the journalists were detained for “terror organization propaganda on outlawed news outlets.” 

A Turkish court had blocked access to the JinNews website in 2023, along with other Kurdish websites and social media accounts of publishers, newspapers, and podcasts on “terror propaganda” allegations.

In early 2023, police detained 11 JinNews and MA journalists in raids. They seized computers, hard drives, other work equipment, and magazines from journalists’ offices and homes. 

Turkey ranks 165 out of the 180 countries on 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."