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LOCAL >Journalist detained in Turkey over tweets

Emine Kart - ANKARA/ISTANBUL

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Yet another journalist has been detained in Turkey for social media postings and is being interrogated by counter-terrorism police in Istanbul.

Hamza Aktan, 33, news editor of the Istanbul-based private IMC TV broadcaster, was detained in a raid into his house in Bahçelievler district by counter-terrorism police in the early morning of April 30, Aktan’s family told Hürriyet Daily News.

Aktan was detained due to his tweets, his lawyers said.

Nonetheless, it was not yet clear which tweets justified his detention.

As of April 30 afternoon, Aktan was still being interrogated by counter-terrorism unit at the provincial police department in Aksaray district.

Following the interrogation, Aktan was referred to prosecutor’s office at Bakırköy Court House. IMC TV reported that during his interrogation by the counterterrorism police, Aktan was asked about some tweets he posted in 2015.

Media reports about civilians killed during the ongoing conflict between Turkey’s security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which he shared on his Twitter account were also subject during the interrogation.

“For what purpose you shared those reports?” he was asked, IMC TV said.

Aktan was asked by the police why he retweeted tweets posted by journalists, Nurcan Baysal and Mutlu Çiviroğlu.

Before joining to IMC TV, Aktan worked as correspondent and editor for various outlets, such as Bianet news portal, Nokta weekly and Birgün and Yeni Şafak daily newspapers.

His book, “Kürt Vatandaş” (“Kurdish Citizen”) was published in 2012 by İletişim Publishing House.

Most recently, Dutch-Turkish journalist Ebru Umar who was briefly arrested on April 23 for tweeting comments critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Umar was released on April 24 after being questioned for 16 hours as top Dutch officials raised their concerns with their Turkish counterparts.

But she is not allowed to leave the country and must report to police twice a week.

April/30/2016

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