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Roundup of Erdogan among Kurdish journalists

Under Erdoğan’s presidency, nothing changes: it hits. On June 8, twenty-two Kurds – all of them journalists, except for two people – were arrested in the city of Diyarbakır, the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan, by government authorities. Eight days later, sixteen of them and they were thrown into prison.

We know, when the AKP reigns, that the “reasons” for indictment are not; let us indicate them however: “belonging and propaganda for an armed terrorist organization”. In other words, the PKK – the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The “anti-terrorist” branch of the Diyarbakır police department thus announced that three press agencies, for which the now prisoners of conscience worked, were in contact with two media, Belgian and British, which would work on behalf of the PKK and the KCK – the umbrella organization of Kurdish resistance forces in the Middle East. To which was added a fourth, JinNews, an essential feminist media.

A large-scale roundup, therefore, which is part of a long-term state policy of repression. In 2021, the association of journalists Dicle Fırat (DFG) recorded, for this year alone, the imprisonment of nearly fifty journalists, the dismissal of seventy-five of their peers and the assassination of two others. In 2020, they were, according to this same association, seventy-nine to end up at the bottom of a cell.

Let’s at least say the names of the sixteen here: Zeynel Abîdîn Bûlût, Lezgîn Akdenîz, Safiye Alagaş, Mehmet Alî Ertaş, Serdar Altan, Omer Çelîk, Mazlûm Dogan Guler, Sûat Doguhan, Ramazan Gecîken, Îbrahîm Koyûncû, Abdûrrahman Oncu, Azîz Orûç, Mehmet Şahîn , Remziye Temel, Neşe Toprak, Elîf Ungur.

And let’s stop for a moment on the last one – Elîf Ungur.

This young journalist and host, specializing in culture and ecology issues for the production company PELFİLM TV, is, among other things, accused of having carried out a report on the Kurdish singer Nûdem Durak. Sentenced to nineteen years in prison for her artistic and political commitment, the person concerned, ill, has been locked up for seven years already. The message could not be clearer: to terrify anyone in Turkey who would have the idea of ​​reporting on the internationalist mobilization in favor of the young artist.

At the end of 2020, the co-president of the DFG, Dicle Müftüoğlu, was sentenced to one year and three months in prison for having shared on social networks a photograph of the fight led in Kobané against Daesh. Today, she reports to the Turkish BBC:Without even talking about being Kurdish, we must tirelessly defend journalism versus all attacks who strike the journalists, q whatever their language, sex or identity. VS ar these operations are killing the profession of journalism. They don’t want journalists to show the world the true face of power .» And to warn that, as always, “fire“which burns the Kurds will end up, in Turkey, by burning”everybody“.