After the arrest of four journalists who revealed that two villagers were thrown from a military helicopter in Van (Wan), press suppression has escalated in Turkey, with increasingly brazen attempts to silence news organisations.
Journalists revealed the story of Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut, who were seized by soldiers and allegedly detained, tortured and thrown from a helicopter in the Çatak (Şax) district of Van. Servet Tugut later died in hospital. As a consequence of their reporting, journalists Adnan Bilen, Cemil Uğur, Şehriban Abi and Nazan Sala were detained on 6 October. On 9 October they were arrested on the charge of “reporting against the state” by the decision of court.
Lawyers from the Media and Law Association applied to the constitutional court on the grounds that the arrests violated the journalists’ right to security and freedom.
According to the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association’s (DFG) report, in October 11 journalists were detained, four were arrested, four were threatened, four were murdered, three were blocked from reporting, two were indicted, five were sued, and five were sentenced to seven years and 11 months in prison and fined 3,650 Turkish lira. In total, 91 journalists appeared in court on October. Meanwhile, 42 news websites and nine web portals were blocked after court decisions.
Jin News blocked
Direct suppression of media organisations continues. JinNews’ website www.jinnews11.xyz has been banned by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), and the website’s Kurdish editor, Roza Metine, has been detained.
This was not the first time the JinNews website has been blocked. It was also blocked on 22 and 29 October.
JinNews began operating on 25 September 2017, and it publishes news in Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic and English. The website has been banned 14 times on the grounds of its published content.
According to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), JinNews editor and Mesopotamia Woman Journalists Platform (MKGP) spokesperson Ayşe Güney said that women are being unduly targeted and that the state is threatened by female resistance.