Journalists mistreated during detention in Izmir

The journalists detained in Izmir are accused of being members of a terrorist organisation. MA correspondents Semra Turan and Delal Akyüz were mistreated and photographed with their heads bent by force.

The journalists detained in raids in Izmir on Tuesday are still being held in the anti-terrorism police department in Çankaya. After the 24-hour contact ban expired, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) correspondents Semra Turan, Delal Akyüz and Tolga Güney, JinNews correspondent Melike Aydın, Duvar reporter Cihan Başakçıoğlu and Fatma Funda Akbulut, who works at the DEM party's media office, were able to speak to lawyers today.

According to the lawyers, their clients are accused of membership of a terrorist organisation. The file is still under confidentiality and cannot be viewed. According to the lawyers, digital storage media was confiscated during the house searches. The journalists were taken away with their hands tied behind their backs.

During the detention of Semra Turan and Delal Akyüz, their heads were forcibly pushed down in order to photograph them in this position. This form of humiliation apparently follows a central instruction and has been observed frequently in recent times. In large-scale operations against the Kurdish opposition in Turkey, journalists loyal to the regime were often tasked with broadcasting the staged removal of opposition members with their heads bowed. Akyüz told his lawyer that he suffered severe headaches after the abuse.

The lawyers assume that their clients will be brought before the public prosecutor's office on Friday. Local elections will be held in Turkey on 31 March, and detentions of opposition journalists in the run-up to elections are part of the Erdoğan regime's standard programme.