22 released in Istanbul after Özgür Gündem raid
AFP photoA total of 22 people, including journalists detained during a police raid on daily Özgür Gündem, were released on Aug. 18 without charge, news portal Bianet has reported.
Some 20 journalists and two others were released after testifying to the prosecutor at Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse over “resisting police,” an accusation they denied.
Among those released include Özgür Gündem journalists Elif Aydoğmuş, Sevdiye Ergürbüz, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Amine Demirkıran, Günay Aksoy, Burcu Özkara, Kemal Bozkurt, Önder Elaldı, Ender Öndeş, Sinan Balık, Davut Uçar, Fırat Yeşilçınar, Zeki Erden, Doğan Güzel, Ersin Çaksu and Bayram Balcı.
Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporters Özgür Paksoy and Mesut Kaynar and IMC TV correspondents Gökhan Çetin and Gülfem Karataş were also released.
In addition, Yılmaz Bozkurt of Istanbul Chamber of Medicine and Doğu Publishing House worker Hüseyin Gündüz were among those who were released on Aug. 18.
On Aug. 16, police raided the office of Özgür Gündem after it was “temporarily” shut down for allegedly conducting propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The homes of columnists and managers of the daily, including Aslı Erdoğan, Ragıp Zarakolu, Filiz Koçali, Eren Keskin, who is its former co-editor-in-chief, were also raided after the closure.
Erdoğan was detained late on Aug. 16 at her home and was later taken to hospital after being detained. She was referred on Aug. 19 to court for a prosecutor’s interrogation, while journalists İnan Kızılkaya and Bilir Kaya were still under detention.