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Kurdish journalists ask the world to be their voices as 16 jailed in Turkey

KURDISH journalists have asked the world to “be their voices” as 16 of the 21 detained in raids last week were jailed today.

In an appeal sent to the Morning Star one journalist who wished to remain anonymous said that while the international community is focused on the conflict in Ukraine they ignore the plight of the Kurds. 

“Hello, I’m writing to you as a Kurdish journalist. I want a few minutes of your time to see what I have to say,” the letter said. 

“All media, globally and justifiably writes and discusses [Ukraine] announcing the injustice to the whole world. 

“However, eyes are wide shut to the injustices done to the Kurds by an even worse dictator, [Turkish President Recep] Tayyip Erdogan,” the journalist continued. 

“This morning, 16 journalists, my colleagues were jailed,” the letter said. 

The media workers were first detained nine days ago in the largely Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, however the charges remained unknown.  

The letter explained how Turkey is killing children in drone attacks, including a 12-year-old Yazidi boy killed in Shengal on Wednesday. 

It warned that Turkey is using its position in Nato as leverage as it refuses to agree to Finland and Sweden’s membership bid unless it meets demands for a crackdown on Kurds while reportedly preparing for an invasion of northern Syria. 

 “In the name of the free world, in the name of universal rights, in the name of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, I call on you to be in solidarity with the 16 Kurdish journalists who were arrested. 

“I want you to object to these powerful states surrendering the Kurds to the oppressive regime of the Turkish dictator for their own interests,” the journalist appealed.

Those jailed were from the women’s run news outlet Jin News and the Mesopotamia Agency which has long been targeted by the state.

A source told the Morning Star that the Turkish state could appoint trustees to the news organisations, a similar tactic used to take over municipalities and replace democratically elected Peoples’ Democratic Party mayors.

Kurdish journalist Seda Taskin, who has herself been persecuted and jailed on trumped up charges, said: “No matter what you do journalists will not be silenced.”

Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan is set to launch a financial appeal as a reported 3 million lira of damage (over £140,000) was made to equipment during raids.

“Solidarity statements are important, but they are not enough,” it said in a statement, urging international journalists to join its twinning programme supporting jailed media workers and those at risk. 


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