20 December 2011, Tuesday

Police arrest journalists over links to Kurdish rebels

Turkish police on Tuesday arrested 38 people around Turkey, including mainly dissident journalists over suspected links with Kurdish rebels, local media reports said.

Majority of those arrested are reporters for Dicle and Etkin news agencies and pro-Kurdish daily Ozgur Gundem. Police raided 40 different adressed early Tuesday morning in seven cities including istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir, private news channel NTV reported.

The journalists are accused of being member to the media and propaganda unit of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which the Turkish government accused of being the urban branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Government officials also said KCK is  the parallel state organization of the PKK.
The arrests also include a photo-journalist from the international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), media said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended the KCK arrests, saying that the operations would go on.
Earlier this week, deputy Prime Minister Besitr Atalay said the police operations against the KCK were "coordinated, discussed, planned and... executed." 
Kurdish MPs said Atalay has confessed with those remarks that the government is behind the operations but not the judiciary.

ISTANBUL- Emekdunyasi.net/wires