Zeynep Durgut, a Kurdish reporter who was detained in a house raid in Turkey’s southeastern city of Cizre on Monday and released on Thursday, said that her detention was yet another incident that showed how journalism made Turkish authorities uncomfortable.
Zeynep Durgut was detained over a statement by a ‘secret witness’, a frequent practice in most political arrests in Turkey.
Speaking to Mezopotamya News Agency after her release, Durgut told about the raid and the detention that followed.
“When the police raided our house, they pushed me to the ground. Their attitude was rude. They started searching every corner of the house,” she started telling.
“And then, when I was interrogated in custody, they treated me like I wasn’t a journalist but a member of a criminal organisation (…) During my four days in the interrogation cell, they constantly targeted my works of journalism and the Mezopotamya News Agency which I work for. They made assessments of the agency as if it was a part of an illegal organisation.”
“My objective as a journalist, and actually the objective of all my colleagues, is only to be the voice of the people in this region who have been living under oppression, with so many violations committed against their rights. There is s huge amount of grave violations against the people here, and telling about these, presenting them in the news, I mean, revealing the truth, is disturbing for certain people. I have recently once again experienced this through my four days in detention.”
While Durgut expressed her gratefulness for the solidarity campaign held for her by journalists, she said that even stronger efforts were required to stand against the oppressive policies of the Turkish political administration:
“We need to be more focused and organised against the violation of press rights that led to the imprisonment of many of our colleagues in Turkey.”