Turkey blames a journalist for 'anti-state journalism'

Turkish authorities filed a lawsuit against journalist Esra Solin Dal over charges of "being a member of a terrorist organisation" and "doing journalism against the state", pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported on Friday. 

Turkish police on Oct. 9 arrested Esra Solin Dal, a reporter of the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency, along with 141 people in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. She was released later but the authorities launched an investigation into the detainees after the mass arrest. A court in Diyarbakır accepted the indictment prepared by the prosecutors immediately after the investigation. 

During Turkey's military operation in northern Syria's Afrin last year, Dal asked appointment from the human rights organisations to get information on the child and women deaths that took place as a result of armed clashes. The indictmen called this "an activity in favour a terrorist organisation" and "a gross slander against the Turkish Armed Forces".

She also asked for an appointment from the Armenian musician Yervant Bostancı to speak on the Armenian Genocide and the indictment described it as "doing journalism against the state", Mezopotamya said.

The indictment concluded that Dal was working for Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which Turkey sees as a component of the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that waged a decades-long insurgency in the country. 

Some of Dal's photographs from meetings, while she was reporting on the ground, were presented as evidence by the prosecutors to prove that she was attending illegal protests, the news agency said. 

A Turkish prosecutor demanded a prison term between 7.5 and 15 years for the journalist.

Dal denied any links to the terrorist organisations. Speaking to Artı TV, Dal said Turkish police raided her home four times in the last two years. 

"I was taken into custody several times. They charged me with different allegations every time. But after the Oct. 9 arrest, the prosecutor prepared a scandalous and tragicomic indictment against me " Dal told Artı TV. "This time, they blame me for allegedly working in the press committee of the KCK. I must say, this is completely tragicomic," she added.