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Dozens of journalists detained in police crackdown

(BIANET/IFEX) - 21 December 2011 - More than 25 journalists were taken into police custody in the course of operations against journalists in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Van, Adana and Diyarbakir on the morning of 20 December. The crackdowns were part of the so-called KCK operation related to the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Employees of the Dicle News Agency (DIHA), the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), the Firat News Agency (ANF) and the "Ozgur Gundem" newspaper are among the journalists in custody, as well as a photojournalist from Agence France-Presse and a reporter for "Vatan" newspaper.

The detained journalists were taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute for a health check. Subsequently, they were brought to the Police Directorate. DIHA reporter Berxwedan Yaruk informed BIANET about the raid during a phone call. He taken into custody by the police right afterwards. Yaruk said that the DIHA and "Ozgur Gundem" offices were raided by the police in the morning of 20 December. Moreover, the employees' homes were also searched, he reported.

Yaruk's home was also raided. He reported that Nahide Ermis, a member of the editorial board of the "Ozgur Halk ve Demokratik Modernite" magazine, was taken into police custody at her home.

A list shown by the police included names from ANF, "Ozgur Gundem" and "Ozgur Halk ve Demokratik Modernite", among them Omer Celik, Cigdem Aslan and Cihan Albay.

It was reported that the police raided a tent in Van that served as a DIHA office. All hard disks were confiscated. DIHA reporter Evrim Kepenk was taken into custody. DIHA Istanbul news director Fatma Kocak and ETHA editor Arzu Demir are also in custody.

ANF and "BirGun" reporter Zeynep Kuray was taken into custody during a crackdown on her home. AFP photojournalist Mustafa Ozer was reportedly taken into custody as well. This information was not confirmed by AFP but according to information of his relatives conveyed by the police, Ozer is in custody.

The DIHA offices in Van, Diyarbakir, Ankara, Adana and Izmir were raided. This is a list of the journalists who were taken into police custody as at 3:00 pm (local time) on 21 December:

Employees of DIHA and "Ozgur Gundem"; DIHA editor-in-chief Fatma Kocak; DIHA concessionaire Zuhal Tekiner; DIHA Diyarbakir reporter Mazlum Ozdemir; DIHA Van reporter Evrim Kepenek; DIHA Istanbul reporters Omer Celik and Cagdas Kaplan; DIHA Urfa reporter Sadik Topaloglu; DIHA Ankara reporters Kenan Kirikkaya, Ismail Yildiz, Sevinc Tunceli, Gunes Unsal, Nuri Firat, Ziya Cicek, Cigdem Aslan, Ramazan Tekoz, Semiha Alankus, Ertus Bozkurt, Diler Demirel and Huseyin Deniz; ETHA editor Arzu Demir; "Birgun" newspaper reporter Zeynep Kuray; AFP photo reporter Mustafa Ozer; "Vatan" newspaper reporter Cagdas Ulus; "Demokratik Modernite" magazine editorial board member Nahide Ermis; Cihan Albay and Etik Agency manager Davut Ucar.


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