journalist arrested in Antalya

Feyyaz İmrak, Antalya Province correspondent for the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), is detained by the police in Antalya on February 11 and arrested by the 1st Antalya Court of Penal peace on February 15 with the accusation of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). İmrak is at Antalya Prison, pending trial for no date set.

İmrak is a university student freelancing for DİHA and he was detained alongside other students in scope of a joint anti-terrorism investigation. The testimony of the journalist from the Antalya Chief Prosecutor’s Office show İmrak was questioned on the membership of a student association alongside the social gatherings, protests or various events. İmrak denied all ties to PKK and its related organizations in his testimony and stated that he considers them a terrorist group. İmrak states the mentioned student association remained on paper only and was not active as a terrorist front as far as he knows. İmrak also states in his testimony that he was at the certain places he was asked as a journalist, not as a participant. The prosecutor’s office asked the journalist about the search of his residence also and  journalistic property such as interview notes and photographs taken by İmrak is considered evidence against him.

İmrak denied the accusations against him at the court too, but according to the arrest verdict the Antalya court find there is “reasonable doubt” for arresting him for being member of a terrorist organization. Article 100 of the Turkish Law for Criminal Procedure allows courts to make arrests on “doubts” which is commonly used for journalist arrests.