Turkish police detain 38, most of them journalists

By REUTERS
December 20, 2011 15:44

 
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ISTANBUL - Police detained at least 38 people, most of them journalists, in dawn raids across Turkey on Tuesday as part of an investigation into alleged links between Kurdish activists and armed separatist militants, security officials and media said.

Turkey already has some 70 reporters in jail, one of the highest numbers in the world, but says they are in prison for other crimes, not there for their work.

Jailing more journalists could fuel accusations that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government is intolerant of dissent and is trying to tame the media. But while the economy continues to grow rapidly, widespread public discontent is unlikely.

Police arrested 25 people in Istanbul, most of them journalists. Reuters witnesses saw Agence France-Presse photographer Mustafa Ozer being led away from his house by police. AFP in Turkey confirmed he had been detained.

More than 10 journalists from the pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency were also arrested, state-run Anatolian news agency said. A lawyer for Dicle said only police remained at the agency's Istanbul office, copying documents and computer hard drives. She said she did not yet know how many reporters had been taken into custody.

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