Journalists Aslan and Candemir taken into custody in Van

Journalists Arif Aslan and Oktay Candemir were taken into custody after raids in Van.

The apartments of journalists Arif Aslan and Oktay Candemir were searched in the city of Van earlier on Tuesday morning. For unknown reasons, the two journalists were taken into custody and taken to the provincial police headquarters.

The two journalists, like all independent press representatives in Turkey and especially in North Kurdistan, are subjected to repression. Arif Aslan was arrested together with his colleague Selman Keleş in Van in 2017 while carrying out his journalistic work for alleged "membership in a terrorist organization" and spent eight months in custody. He was acquitted in March 2021.

Oktay Candemir has also been criminalized for decades. Among other things, the journalist was arrested in 2020 for "propaganda for a terrorist organization".

Candemir has been working as a journalist for two decades, including for the Kurdish news agency DIHA, which was banned by emergency decree in 2016. He also worked for ANF as a correspondent for Van for many years. He was repeatedly targeted by the security authorities. He has already been summoned to the police dozens of times and numerous investigations are underway against him. He spent a year in custody in various prisons.