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Eleven detained, including two journalists, during raid by authorities

(BIANET/IFEX) - Eleven persons were taken into police custody during an operation against the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Among the people in custody are journalists Hamdullah Kesen and Sehmus Kabak, as well as the Adana Provincial Chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Mehmet Zeki Karatas.

The Platform for Solidarity with Detained Journalists protested against the detentions on Thursday 8 September 2011. As reported by the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), protesters gathered in front of the BDP Adana Provincial Office. They were supported by Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block MP for Mersin, Ertugrul Kurkcu; the BDP Chair of the Ceyhan district; the Provincial Chair of Mersin; members of parliament; and representatives of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) and the Labour Party (EMEP).

On Wednesday 7 September, teams of the Adana Police Directorate Anti-Terror Unit raided several homes and took eleven people into police custody: BDP Provincial Chair Karatas; Deputy Chair Esmer Ece; Provincial Treasurer Mahmut Islek; Seyhan District Chair Refik Bayav; member of the Provincial Disciplinary Committee Sabahat Mese; Dicle News Agency (DIHA) reporter Kesen; former Adana representative of the "Azadiya Welat" newspaper Kabak; retired imam Mehmet Bozhan; Isa Turan; Mecit Er; and Emin Oruc.

The BDP MP for Mersin, KurKcu, condemned the detentions and demanded the immediate release of those in custody.

"As it is clear from its name, the BDP is a party that pursues a peaceful struggle and fights for democracy. These operations are part of the war policies of the AKP (Justice and Development Party). The AKP is mistaken if it thinks that the BDP is going to kneel down this way. Neither the BDP nor its allies will kneel down," Kurkcu continued.

The Platform for Solidarity with Detained Journalists made an announcement regarding DIHA Adana reporter Kesen and Kabak from the "Azadiya Welat" newspaper. The Platform called for the immediate release of both journalists.

The Platform stressed that 62 journalists were currently arrested in Turkey. There is growing concern over an increase in this number due to recent detentions. The Platform drew attention to the fact that Turkey is among the leading countries, on an international level, in terms of the number of journalists detained. It was further highlighted that the much disputed Anti-Terror Law (TMY) should be abolished in order to provide progress in the field of press freedom.

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