Local and international journalists’ associations condemned the Wednesday morning arrest of 21 journalists in Turkey and called for their immediate release.
Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), Press Council (Basın Konseyi), the Global Network for Independent Media (IPI), and independent journalists in Van issued statements in support of their arrested colleagues.
The arrest of journalists in Diyarbakır (Amed) is “an attack on the public’s right to information”, journalists in the eastern border province of Van said.
The arrests appear to be in preparation for the operation Turkey plans to carry out in north and east Syria, they said. “We know well that this operation aims to silence Kurds and dissidents.”
“Upping its violence every day, the government should understand that journalism is not a crime,” TGC said in a statement. “Citizens’ right to be informed should not be hindered before elections.”
Authorities must stop treating journalists and news stories as terrorists and terror plots, the Press Council said.
IPI also called on authorities to immediately disclose full details of charges against the journalists and to release them.
Details on the case against the journalists are unclear due to a confidentiality order by the chief public prosecutor’s office. Arrestees are held in solitary confinement, Mezopotamya Agency reported.