One journalist jailed, three others released

Of the five journalists detained in various cities today, one was remanded in custody, three released on condition of judicial control and one other will be referred to court tomorrow.

Five journalists have been taken into custody in various cities in Turkey today by order of the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in connection with reports regarding a mass trial against Kurdish media workers.

Bianet editor Evrim Kepenek, T24 editor Sibel Yükler and Mezopotamya Agency (MA) correspondents Fırat Can Arslan and Delal Akyüz have been detained and their homes searched in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara earlier today.

Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporter Delal Akyüz was detained in İzmir, MA correspondent Fırat Can Arslan and T24 editor Sibel Yükler in Ankara, Bianet's Women and LGBTI+ rights editor, Evrim Kepenek in Istanbul and journalist Evrim Deniz in Diyarbakır following police raids on their houses during the day.

The background to the case is reports of a political trial against 18 colleagues in Amed. 15 of the accused journalists, who work for Kurdish media, were held in pre-trial detention for over a year on vague "terror charges" in what was obviously a contrived trial without charges and were released on the first day of the trial a fortnight ago. The long detention was based on the false testimony of an anonymous witness.

The investigation against the journalists detained on Tuesday was triggered by Arslan's report, which brought attention to the marriage between one of the judges overseeing the Diyarbakır-based case against 18 Kurdish media workers and the prosecutor who prepared the indictment.

Following the release of the 16 journalists from prison on July 12, after a year in pretrial detention, the married judge and prosecutor were relocated from Diyarbakır to Samsun, according to Arslan's report.

Arslan had shared his report on Twitter, and the other three journalists retweeted it, leading to the current investigation by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

After the questioning of journalists at the police station concluded, MA correspondents Fırat Can Arslan and Delal Akyüz, and T24 editor Sibel Yükler were referred to court.

While Fırat Can Arslan was remanded in custody for "revealing the identity of a public official" and "marking a counterterrorism official as a target", Delal Akyüz, Sibel Yükler and Evrim Deniz were released on condition of judicial control.

On the other hand, Bianet editor Evrim Kepenek remains in custody and is expected to be referred to the prosecutor’s office tomorrow.