Turkey arrests novelist, journalist Asli Erdogan on terrorism charges

A Turkish court arrested novelist and journalist Asli Erdogan for alleged links to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Hurriyet daily reported on Saturday, after she was questioned by prosecutors. 

The writer had been detained earlier in the week along with more than 20 employees of the pro-Kurdish Ozgur Gundem newspaper. She was on the daily's board and a regular columnist. 

The paper was shut down by a court order for allegedly being an organ of the PKK, which Turkey and the EU list as a terrorist group.

Turkey has shut down dozens of media outlets since the failed July 15 coup, and the number of reporters in jail has skyrocketed. More than 30 journalists were jailed prior to the coup and according to the European Federation of Journalists the number now stands at 74.

PEN International, a human rights and literary organization, said this week it appeared Erdogan and others were being held "solely in connection with their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression."

The court order shuttering Ozgur Gundem appeared unrelated to the state of emergency Turkey declared after the failed military coup.

The country has a history of closing Kurdish papers and jailing journalists from that section of society on allegations they support the PKK. 

This week saw steady violence between the state and the PKK in the south-east of the country, including several bombings by the armed group against police stations.

Among other attacks, the PKK claimed a suicide car bombing in Elazig province this week which killed several officers and injured dozens. 

Fighting between the PKK and the state has been ongoing for more than 30 years, claiming more than 40,000 lives. A ceasefire lasted for more than two years but collapsed in July 2015. 

Many members of the Kurdish minority in Turkey, making up some 15 per cent of the population, have long complained of systemic discrimination. 

In depth coverage

Turkey raids 44 firms, shuts pro-Kurdish newspaper in dual squeeze

Turkey raided 44 companies in Istanbul, as part of a post-coup crackdown, and also applied pressure on a second front, with a court ordering shut Ozgur Gundem, a major pro-Kurdish newspaper.

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Last update: Tue, 16/08/2016 - 17:15

Turkish court closes key pro-Kurdish newspaper in Turkey

A Turkish court has ordered the closure of newspaper Ozgur Gundem, charging that it spreads terrorist propaganda for the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to a copy of the decision circulated by activists.

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Last update: Tue, 16/08/2016 - 15:20
Last update: Sat, 20/08/2016 - 10:44

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