28 March 2018 13:08

Özgürlükçü Demokrasi Newspaper and printing house raided by police

Turkish authorities took control of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi on Wednesday after a police raid on its offices overnight.

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Central office of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper in Beyoğlu and the printing house where its newspapers are printed have been raided by the police at midnight (March 28).

Speaking to bianet, Hüseyin Aykol, who writes in Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, has told that the newspaper has been transferred to the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) and a trustee has been appointed. In the raids conducted around 00.30 a.m., special operation forces searched the buildings.

The central office of the newspaper and the printing house have been searched and some of the newspaper workers have been taken into custody.

Among whom taken into custody are Erdoğan Zamur, Musa Kaya, İhsan Yaşar (the grant holder of the newspaper), Kemal Kürt, Cemal Tunç, Kasım Zengin (owner of the printing house), İrfan Kara, Kemal Daşdöğen and Mehmet Emin Sümeli.

JOURNALISM ORGANISATIONS CONDEMN THE OPERATION

In their statements, Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) Press-labor and Free Journalists Initiative have denounced the operation launched against Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper.

In its statement, the TGS stated that the government tries to silence the media outlets, which it cannot silence through buying, by confiscating them and said, “Turkey cannot be reduced to a single voice, single colour, single opinion”.

DISK Press-Labor denounced the allegations that a trustee has been appointed to Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi newspaper: “This is a part of a chain of pressures directed against a large number of dissident media outlets occurring in the wake of State of Emergency. Its aim is to silence free press and the history proves that it has never succeeded”.

Free Journalists Association was closed by a decree in November 2016. Carrying on its activities as Free Journalists’ Initiative, the organisation said that “the government will not be able to hide the facts from people” and called on the government to “give up imposing such crackdowns on alternative and dissident media”.

ABOUT ÖZGÜRLÜKÇÜ NEWSPAPER

After Özgür Gündem newspaper was closed on August 16, 2016, Özgürlükçü Gündem newspaper started to be published on August 23, 2016. Published by Nesrin Media, Publishing and Distribution, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reported the arrests of Özgür Gündem's Executive Editor Zana Kaya and its Editor-in-Chief İnan Kızılkaya in the subheading of its first issue. (EVRENSEL DAILY)