Dec 16 2017

Kurdish news agency journalist given terror sentence

Nedim Türfent, a journalist at the closed-down pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency, has been given an eight-year-and-nine-month jail sentence for “membership of a terrorist organisation”, the left-leaning Cumhuriyet said.

Türfent has been jailed since May 2016 while waiting for a judgment in the case, the newspaper said. Türfent said he was tortured into making his initial statement.

“The prosecutor knew that I was being tried as a journalist,” Türfent said. “We are in jail as opposition journalists.”

The seven-year sentence for membership of a terrorist organisation – the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – was increased to eight years and nine months as the crime continued, the court decided.

Türfent had been initially arrested for his reporting on the actions of the Turkish military during curfews in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast.

One example of reporting the authorities found incendiary was this video Türfent recorded in August 2015 of special forces officer Ersin Demirel telling Kurdish terror suspects in the city of Şırnak that they would “see the power of the Turk”.

“We will not feed the government’s agenda under any circumstances: we will continue to carry out journalism,” Türfent said.