The CFWIJ condemns the arrest of Turkish journalist Zeynep Kuray in Istanbul this week.
On Friday May 10th, the CFWIJ obtained information that the Turkish police detained journalists Zeynep Kuray and Irfan Tunccelik while they were covering protests in Istanbul. The two journalists were following protests in solidarity with ongoing hunger associated with the isolation of Öcalan.
According to DİSK Basın, the Turkish union for media in turkey: “Friday, our colleagues Zeynep Kuray and İrfan Tunçbilek were taken under custody while following the protest of women whose sons are at hunger strike in prison. They were accused of “making propaganda of a terrorist organization”(TPC 220/8), “praising offense and offender” (TPC 215) and “violating the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations”.
“They were taken to the Istanbul Police Headquarters at Vatan str. and they have been under custody since Friday evening.” DİSK Basın’s statement confirmed.
Zeynep is one of the very few women photojournalists working for national media in Turkey.
Zeynep’s lawyer Tamer Doğan said that Kuray was treated badly by the police officers during her arrest. Doğan confirmed to CFWIJ that it is expected that Zeynep will be sent to the prosecutor’s office later on today after undertaking regular checkups at the hospital.”
The union stated that they believe these incidents are the first wave of the intensified oppression against media, especially after the local elections. Of course this is a follow-up on the previous purge that journalists and activists from the opposition have faced in the country, and concerned stakeholders are worried this kind censorship would hurt Turkish democracy.
Turkey is also a challenging country to work in the field for women, the country’s reputation as a democracy is at stake, knowing that this year Turkey became the biggest jailer of women journalists around the world.
The CFWIJ condemns the latest events in Turkey where women journalists are silenced by unprecedented threats and imprisonments and urges to authorities to release Zeynep who was arrested for simply doing her job.