Four journalists briefly detained over ‘irritating’ question in Turkey’s southeast
ŞANLIURFAFour journalists have been released shortly after being detained in southeastern Turkey over a question that irritated Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük, daily Evrensel has reported.
Evrensel correspondent Hasan Akbaş and daily Cumhuriyet columnist Pınar Öğünç were detained along with Özlem Topçu and Deniz Yücel, of German newspapers Die Zeit and Die Welt respectively, after Akbaş’s question to the governor about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) presence in the Akçakale district of Şanlıurfa.
“Some who live in Tal Abyad say there are ISIL members in Akçakale and they are worried that their lives will be in danger. Do you have any comments on that?” Akbaş had asked.
"They are escaping from the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the U.S. bombardment," he said, to which another reporter responded that no one they spoke to had said this.
After cutting the press meeting short Küçük instructed the police to detain the journalists.
“We are free again,” Yücel tweeted after being questioned by police.
A man working as a press member in the Şanlıurfa Governor’s Office reportedly objected to Akbaş’s question in the press meeting, shouting “There is no such question. These people are creating disturbance.” Security forces also had to forcibly prevent people from approaching the four journalists.