DFG: Kurdish journalists will continue to show the unseen

DFG reacted against the imprisonment of 3 journalists and said, "Kurdish journalists will continue to show unseen and announce the unheard. We call for a common struggle to defend journalism."

Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) made a written statement on the arrest of 3 out of 9 journalists who were detained on 23 April in house raids in Istanbul, Ankara and Urfa within the scope of an investigation launched by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporters Esra Solin Dal and Mehmet Aslan and journalist Erdoğan Alayumat were sent to prison late last night.

"Journalists' coverage of the Kurdish question, the war and the isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, which are the main agendas of this country, have been tried to be criminalised. We remind that the Kurdish question and isolation are among the main agendas of this country and that it is not a crime for journalists to cover these issues,” said the statement, which further included the following:

"Each news item included in the investigation file and tried to be associated with 'membership of an illegal organisation' are news items that are made for the benefit of society and for informative purposes. For years, the government has been targeting journalists who report on every agenda that has become a bleeding wound in Turkey, especially the Kurdish question. We once again remind the government, which tries to silence journalists through censorship, investigations, obstructions, lawsuits and arrests, that the solution is not to imprison journalists. For the democratisation of Turkey and the solution of problems, remove the obstacles to freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and stop putting journalism on trial.

The Free Press tradition, which has been led by Kurdish journalists for more than 30 years, has never stopped, remained silent or backed down in the face of any obstruction. Approximately 40 journalists have been arrested and put on trial in the crackdowns that have accelerated since 2022, but they have not stopped working. There will be no change after the latest operation either. Kurdish journalists will continue to show the unseen and announce the unheard. In this sense, we once again state that our arrested colleagues are journalists and demand their immediate release. We call on all professional organisations and peoples to jointly struggle to defend the right to information and journalism."