09/29/2015, 00.00
TURKEY
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Turkish police arrest 32 Kurdish journalists

This follows recent raid against opposition newspapers. For the Turkish vice president of the European Court for Human Rights, Turkey's image as a country that tolerated "torture" has been replaced by that of a state that does not protect the press and freedom of speech.

Ankara (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Turkish police Monday arrested 32 people working for Kurdish-language media in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir, the Dogan news agency reported.

Separately, the news agency Dicle said that it and the newspaper Azidiye Welat were also targeted in the operation, and that anti-terrorist police detained scores of journalists and other employees.

The police operation appears to be part of President Erdogan’s anti-Kurdish offensive, ostensibly to fight the "terrorists" of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but seen by many as part of its strategy for the upcoming November elections.

In recent weeks, the authorities have carried out a string of arrests of journalists. Police have also raided a holding company that owns opposition media, sparking criticism from western and non-western countries as well as media watchdogs.

Turkish judge Işıl Karakaş, who was recently elected as vice president of the European Court of Human Rights, said Turkey’s image as a country that tolerates “torture” has been replaced with the image of a country that does not protect freedom of press.

“Turkey is regarded as a country where freedom of the press is not protected or guaranteed in the essence of European standards. The institutions of the council of Europe in particular pay attention to this issue,” Karakaş said.

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