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One-month suspension for daily newspaper

(BIANET/IFEX) - 24 March 2012 - On 24 March, the front page of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem ("Free Agenda") ran with a headline about the Kurdish question. On the same day, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court handed the newspaper a one-month suspension, and the police raided the Gun Printing Company, which prints Ozgur Gundem, and confiscated copies of that day's and the subsequent day's edition.

As reported by the Firat News Agency (ANF), the court issued a one-month ban based on allegations that the newspaper was publishing "propaganda for an illegal organization". The ruling stemmed from news, comments and photographs that appeared on pages 1, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the 24 March issue.

Ozgur Gundem began publishing on 30 May 1992. Seventy-six employees of the daily were killed, among them 30 journalists. Ozgur Gundem was closed down on 14 April 1994. The newspaper subsequently came out under the name Ozgur Ulke ("Free Country") and started publishing on 28 April 1994. Three of the newspaper's offices were bombed on 3 December 1994. Ozgur Ulke employee Ersin Yildiz died in one of the attacks; 21 employees were wounded. Ozgur Gundem resumed publishing on 4 April 2011 after a 17-year hiatus.

According to the Media Monitoring Report released by BIANET, 12 of the 104 journalists who are detained in Turkish prisons are current or former employees of Ozgur Gundem.
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