A BBC journalist was detained for a day without explanation while reporting on a disaster at a copper mine site in Turkey that killed 11 miners and left another five missing.
Hatice Kamer, who works for BBC Turkey, had gone to the town of Shirvan in the Siirt region of Turkey to interview relatives of the miners when she was arrested by Turkish authorities, BBC Türkçe (Turkey) said in a statement on its website.
- August 20, 2019
- August 16, 2019
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The 39-year-old was released the following day after being held overnight at a police station, BBC Turkey said later.
“We are very pleased our reporter Hatice Kamer was released from police custody in Turkey yesterday,” said a BBC spokesperson.
German radio station Westdeutscher Rundfunk said it had learnt from Kamer, who also works for the broadcaster, that she is accused of having supported the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) through her reporting and has been told she will have to stand trial, the Guardian reported.
The PKK, which wants to establish an independent Kurdish state within Turkey, is viewed as a terrorist organisation by the Turkish government.
Voice of America reports that freelance reporter Khajijan Farqin was detained the same day as Kamer in Diyarbakir – again without explanation, according to the Press Association.
Earlier this month, 52-year-old French journalist Olivier Bertrand was also held in nearby Gaziantep and subsequently deported.
Turkey is in the grip of a media crackdown following a failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 16 July.
More than one hundred media organisations have been ordered to close in Turkey with more than 145 are understood to have been imprisoned after detention warrants for journalists were sent out.
The European and International Federation of Journalists have launched a joint campaign to try to stop the media crackdown.
Earlier this month police were called to BBC Broadcasting House in London after a demonstration from more than 100 protestors made up of Turkish and Kurdish families tried to storm the offices.
A source told the Sun: “They were determined to break into the BBC, and the situation could have become very dangerous.
“Luckily a staff member managed to slam an internal door, bringing the group to a halt, and then the police were able to restore control.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “There was a demonstration outside New Broadcasting House at 1am on Friday, 4 November.
“The issue was handled professionally by BBC security staff and protesters