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RIGHTS > Number of imprisoned journalists increases in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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The number of imprisoned journalists in Turkey rose to 105, according to a written statement issued yesterday by the Platform of Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists.

Most lately, Aziz Tekin, the Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya Welat’s eastern province of Mardin representative, was arrested in Kızıltepe, Mardin in an operation against the Kurdish Communities Union(KCK) alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Jan. 28.

“Turkey has the highest number of arrested journalists in the world. With this last detention, Turkey strengthened its position on the top of the list. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is abusing the anti-terror law,” the platform said in the written statement.

The group also reminded Turkey’s step backwards in press freedom rankings losing 10 places to rank 148th out of 178 countries in the Reporters without Borders’ (RSF) World Press Freedom Index for 2011.

Meanwhile, the release of 13 journalists including Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener was denied by a court in Istanbul, despite both pleading against charges leveled in the OdaTV case on Jan 27. The case was postponed to March 12.

Şık and Nedim flatly denied the charges leveled against them during the 10th hearing of the Oda TV probe, which began after law enforcement officials conducted a search of the offices of the online news portal in February last year as part of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation.

Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup initially by spreading chaos and mayhem. It is also thought to be an extension of or a different name for the “deep state,” which is an alleged unofficial organization of bureaucracy and military operating behind the scenes of the official state structure.

January/30/2012

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