VIDEO – Turkish police threatens journalist at gunpoint

A video of a cop threatening a journalist at gunpoint to not to take pictures became viral on Sunday. Özgür Gün TV correspondent Murat Demir and Dicle New Agency (DİHA) correspondent Serhat Yüce were briefly detained in Silvan district of Diyarbakır for violating a curfew. In the video, the police shouts at the journalists to not to take pictures or video and they reply that they won’t. However, one cop was not satisfied with their answer and put a gun to Yüce’s head before detaining him.

Yüce later spoke to Bianet and said he thought the cop was going to kill him at the spot. Demir said they were just sitting at the forecourt of the municipal building when the police reminded them of the curfew. The journos also said colleagues from the semi-official Anatolia News Agency (AA) and the pro-government İhlas News Agency (İHA) are always on the streets despite the curfew so they thought they could do it too. Yüce and Demir were fined 208 TL each for violating the curfew.

It is reported that the cop who threatened the journalists did the same to a parliamentary deputy of the pro-Kurdish HDP before.

Polisin Kafasına Silah Dayadığı Gazeteci Serhat Yüce Anlatıyor

Gazetecilerin başına silah dayayan polis HDP’li vekili de tehdit etmiş: Kafana sıkarız

Kafasına silah dayadıkları gazetecilere bir de para cezası kestiler!

Threatened Turkish journalist hospitalized

Print and TV journalist Ahmet Hakan was attacked by a group of four and got hospitalized with four broken ribs and nose in Istanbul last night; reports say. The assailants were apprehended by the police and claimed it was a” traffic argument” as they beat Hakan and his bodyguard in front of the journalist’s house at Nişantaşı District. There is no further health risk for the journalist according to reports as Hakan is released from the hospital and sent home.

Hürriyet Chief Editor Sedat Ergin said the claims of the assailants regarding it was a “traffic argument” are not true since they have video footage that their car was near the CNNTürk studios which would mean they followed Hakan from there to his house. Hakan’s lawyers stated that they asked police protection from the authorities weeks ago but their demend was ignored.

Hakan is a columnist for the daily Hürriyet and the host for popular politics talk show Tarafsız Bölge (Impartial Zone) at CNNTürk. Both media organs are of Doğan Media group which has currently received constant insults and accusations from pro-AKP circles, had a terrorism propaganda investigation and a coup support investigation started against them; and experienced two violent demonstrations at their facilities. In one of those demonstrations happened on September 6 and 8 at the offices of the daily Hürriyet, leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) Parliamentary Deputy Abdurrahim Boynukalın was captured on video saying it was their mistake that they did not beat Hakan and Ergin before and telling the people around him how he has given thought to going to Hakan’s house at Nişantaşı to fight with him. After last night’s attack, Boynukalın condemned it on twitter and denied responsibility by saying “We are not as perfidious as beating a journalist with four men in front of his home.” Cem Küçük, a vocal pro-government journalist who has written “If we want, we can smash you like a fly. You are still alive because we have shown mercy” to Hakan in his column, also condemned the attack on TV.

Some members of the AKP, including Justice Minister Kenan İpek, also condemned the attack. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) stated they perceive this as “intimidation” against the press.

War of words between targeted media boss and president

Aydın Doğan, the founder and honorary chairman of Doğan Holding, has stated in an open letter addressing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he never claimed the media can replace governments.

Aydın Doğan addresses President Erdoğan in letter

Erdoğan responded as below:

Erdoğan accuses media mogul Doğan of robbing country

‘Tarafsız cumhurbaşkanı’ndan HDP’ye: 1 Kasım’da milletim size prim vermeyecek

Meanwhile, AKP deputy Mehmet Metiner has said Doğan has no right to call the president a liar and they would know “to tear the teeth and nails off” the media mogul if necessary.

Kim tutar Metiner’i: Aydın Doğan’ın tırnaklarını da dişlerini de sökmesini biliriz

Meanwhile, it was reported by the pro-government daily Star today that the media organs and their social media accounts of Doğan Media are to be put under investigation to determine whether if there is systematic terrorism propaganda or not.

Star’ın haberi: Doğan Grubu yayınları ve sosyal medya hesaplarına ‘terör’ incelemesi

Kurdish newsrooms raided, journalists detained in Diyarbakır

Turkish police raided Diyarbakır offices of Kurdish news organs and association Monday evening; detained dozens according to reports. “Turkish police raided offices of DİHA, Azadiya Welat, Aram Publishing and KURDİ-DER in the main Kurdish city of Diyarbakır, and took 32 reporters, journalists and laborers of the media foundations into custody” DİHA reported.

The authoroties used the excuse of some terrorism suspects allegedly hiding in the building after an attack to Turkish security forces. The building’s doors and windows were broken, staff of the media organs and the association were held at gunpoint and battered according to reports. The police could not find the suspects they were allegedly looking for.

The police provided a search warrant signed by a prosecutor issued 10 minutes before the mentioned attack occurred. This raised suspicions that what the police doing was an operation of intimidation rather than actually searching for suspects.

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A total of 32 people were detained and they were released on the early hours of Tuesday after questioning. Some sources say 1 of the 32 reamisns in custody.

Police raid DİHA: 32 taken into custody

Detained Journalists Released in Diyarbakır

Ironically, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was speaking about press freedom at The UN simultaneously with the police raid. There was “no limit for” and “no restrictions against” journalism in Turkey; according to the PM.

Davutoğlu’nun basın özgürlüğünü savunduğu anlarda Kürt gazeteciler gözaltındaydı

Nokta receives more threats, asks for protection

The weekly Nokta asked for police protection following the developments of their Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cover which had the issue banned, an editor detained and their offices raided.

President Erdoğan has spoken on live TV and said Nokta will “pay the price” for that cover.

It is reported that the magazine is receiving constant threats and made an official request for police protection.

Erdoğan kapağının ardından basılan NOKTA, tehditler artınca koruma istedi

Harassment, death threats remains an issue for journos in Turkey

Socialist news portal sendika.org reported that their correspondent Bora Balcı was abducted by an unknown group of people, threatened at gunpoint about his work at a remote location and then let go.  Balcı has said the men told him details about his daily life to inform him that he is being watched.

Sendika.Org muhabiri kaçırılıp silahla tehdit edildi

DİHA reported that their correspondent Gökhan Altay was beaten by the police at the funeral of a PKK militant in Hakkari. Several such reports of police harassing, manhandling or directly hurting journalists at eastern Turkey have been visible since the clashes between the PKK and the state began anew.

 DİHA muhabiri Altay özel harekatçıların saldırısına uğradı

More death threats from pro-AKP journo

Pro-AKP journalist Cem Küçük, who made a habit of threatening critical journalists’ jobs, freedoms and lives, does it again.

Küçük was on a live television debate last night and he claimed “the CIA would kill that journalists” if the MİT Trucks issue has happened in the U.S. pointing fingers to the various journalists who are currently being criminally investigated for reporting about Turkish National Service (MİT) allegedly smuggling weapons to Syria.

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Series of attacks against Doğan Media crowned with criminal investigation

The recent serial events of verbal and physical attacks against Doğan Media by pro-government circles is finally crowned by a criminal investigation on September 15 for making “terrorism propaganda” for the outlaw pro-Kurdish group PKK. Ironically, Doğan Media and its flagship publication the daily Hürriyet have been criticized for being anti-Kurd (it says “Turkey belongs to the Turks” on the logo of Hürriyet) and pro-state for many years before their relations with the AKP went sour.

The pro government media and AKP officials have been criticizing and threatening Doğan Media and its employees on a constant basis since the last general elections in which the leading administration could not hold onto the power thanks to the legal pro-Kurdish party HDP stealing the Kurdish vote from them. These acts included accusations of supporting terrorism,  death threats,  attacking the Hürriyet building two days in a row, and  hints of a crackdown to come.

A recent video of AKP parliamentary deputy and supreme board member Abdurrahim Boynukalın shows him in front of the daily Hürriyet. A previous video has presented him during the mob assault against the building; swearing allegiance to Erdoğan. In this second video, Boynukalın speaks to the members of the mob and says they should have “beaten down” the journalists before.

Footage shows AK Party deputy saying Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Ergin should have been beaten

VIDEO: AKP MP complains of ‘not beating’ Hürriyet journalists in past

Hürriyet’i basan vekil Boynukalın: Bizim hatamız bunlara dayak atmamak olmuş

As for the investigation, Bakırköy Chief Prosecutor İdris Kurt (allegedly a close ally of Erdoğan according to the leaked tapes during to what is currently known as the December 17-25 process) used the pro-AKP media’s reports claiming Doğan Media supports terrorism and started a criminal investigation. The prosecutor’s claims are based on absurd points such as not blurring the dead bodies of soldiers and blurring the dead bodies of alleged PKK militants. Interviews made for Doğan Media group member organs are also recognized as supporting terrorism.

Doğan Medya Grubu’na ‘terör propagandası’ soruşturması

Doğan Medya yetkilileri hakkında soruşturma

’Terrorism’ probe launched into Doğan Media for not blurring slain soldiers’ images

Prosecutor launches probe into Doğan Media Group for ‘terror propaganda’

In the Aftermath of the Nokta raid

NOKTA’da dün neler oldu?

“It is never possible to consider insulting the presidential office within freedom of expression,” Presidency Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın told reporters at a press conference on Sept. 15 in response to questions concerning the raid on the magazine on Sept. 14. “Attacking the presidential office to score small political goals with small political estimations is not politics. Trying to become the center of attention by attacking the presidency and our president’s personality and his family is not journalism. It is often just common activism or militarism,” Kalın added.

Saray’dan Nokta’ya baskın açıklaması

Nokta reported that news stories on websites and platforms such as  Diken, Odatv, Meydan Gazetesi, İnternet Haber, Yeni Yön , Zaman and Hürriyet are blocked from access within Turkey. The official website of the magazine is unreachable without the use of a VPN as well.

Death threat from pro-government journo to critical journo

“Like a schizophrenic, you think you are still living in the era when Turkey was ruled by the Hürriyet daily. If we [pro-government members of the media] want, we can smash you like a fly. You are still alive because we have shown mercy,” Cem Küçük wrote in his column about Ahmet Hakan.

Pro-gov’t daily columnist Küçük issues death threats to critical journalist Coşkun