The latest attack on journalism in Turkey

Two years ago in June, I wrote an expose on the case of Abdurrahman Gök, on his news story he was able to break thanks to the photographs he had taken, and being where he was as a journalist, and on the state of the two continuing criminal lawsuits: one pertains to the police officer accused of killing of Kemal Kurkut, on March 21, 2017, and the other is the one in which the Gök is charged with, after his photographs of the killing of Kemal Kurkut refuted the official statement. I had tried to provide a chronicle of these two cases in the very long expose. I was able to do that because journalists keep reporting on these cases, and on the continuing crackdown on dissenting civil society and journalists, as well as the diligent work of case monitoring by journalism associations, particularly Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) in Turkey, and the support of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), among others, internationally.

While the conditions of journalist has been continually worsening in Turkey, there has been a new wave of crackdown in the last week of April as we approach the upcoming general and presidential election on May 14, and three months after the two successive devastating earthquakes that demolished neighborhood in 11 cities in the South-East of Turkey on February 6.

On 25 April, coordinated dawn raids in Turkey targeted homes and offices of 128 people including journalists, lawyers, rights defenders, political activists and artists in 20 provinces, based on unclear charges. ….

Among those that have been detained so far are 10 journalists and a lawyer who represents arrested journalists. Technical equipment, computers, books and documents belonging to journalists were also confiscated by the police during the raids.

International groups demand release of Kurdish journalists, lawyers, political party officials arrested in pre-election crackdown” MLSA, April 25, 2023.

Two days later, 4 of the 10 detained journalists were arrested; Beritan Canözer, Remzi Akkaya, Abdurahman Gök ve Mehmetşah Oruç. At the courthouse, Gök was recorded by his fellow journalists “fascism will be defeated, long live free press!” Few days later, he shared the address of the prison he is kept on his Twitter account:

“Hello, thank you for your support and solidarity. For a while, my address is updated as: Diyarbakır D Tipi, 1 No’lu Yüksek Güvenlikli Kapalı Ceza ve İnfaz Kurumu, C-30 Koğuşu. In Solidarity!”

According to MLSA, as of May 7, there are at least 67 journalists and media employees in Turkey. Read more: