Police in Turkey on 6 November intercepted Mesopotamia Agency reporter Emrullah Acar and asked him to become an informer, threatening him in the process. Four days later, Yeni Yaşam Newspaper employee Hamdullah Bayram was similarly approached and threatened. The police threatened to burn Bayram and his workplace.
According to Mesopotamia Agency, on 6 November, Emrullah Acar was intercepted by two people on the street when he was going home. He was asked to go to the parking area so that they could talk. Acar stated that these people did not declare their identity to him at first. He described what happened: “They stated that they wanted to ‘small talk’ with me. I told them I would not respond to them unless they declared their identity cards. At that point, they said they were police. After they said they wanted my ID, they repeated that they wanted to chat with me and began walking towards the dark parking area. I did not go and told them: ‘If you are going to look at my ID, do it here’. After that, I tried to leave, but they insisted on talking to me and they said: ‘We have become like this because of the bad policies of the state. Let’s discuss our ideas together. After all, they asked me to inform for them and they threatened me”.
On 10 November, four days after this incident, Hamdullah Bayram, an employee of Yeni Yaşam Newspaper, faced a similar situation. Bayram, who was detained in Ankara in the evening, was released after his statement was taken at the Çankaya District Police Department. Bayram said: “When I went to Kolej Square, I saw that a person was waiting on the bridge. He walked along with me for a while. At the end of the street, in an isolated place, another person came and wanted to talk to me. Although I told him that I had nothing to talk to them about, they came over to me, saying: ‘We’ll talk for two minutes’, in a harsh tone. They tried to take me to an isolated area where no one passed. When I resisted, they stated that they were the police. I asked them: ‘If you are a police officer, you can take my ID or look at it here, too. They then threatened me, saying: ‘We can do whatever we please as we are the police’. I called my sister on my phone and asked her to inform the journalists about this. They interrupted my conversation with her, confiscated my phone and the money in my pocket and pushed my face against the wall and reverse handcuffed me. After my colleagues came to the location and got involved in the incident, they called the official police vehicles and detained me”.
Bayram detailed their threats: “These people said: ‘We know you, your agency and your newspaper, and we will burn you'”. Afterwards, he noted, “when I asked them: ‘You were threatening to burn me and my newspaper office, now what has changed?’, they stated they would look at my ID and also said: ‘The Turkish police are good’. When I went to the police department, one of the policemen who followed me and then detained me, said: ”We came to you because we thought you had a gun or drugs on you. There was a misunderstanding. If you are not a complainant, we will not take the matter further and the matter will be closed'”.
In response to the way in which they had been approached and threatened, Acar and Bayram stated that they would apply to the Human Rights Association (IHD) and they would also file a criminal complaint through their lawyers.