Turkey arrests two journalists over terror charges

A Turkish court ruled for two journalists to be jailed pending trial over terrorism-related offences, Mezopotamya, the pro-Kurdish news agency the journalists worked for, reported on Tuesday.

The Istanbul 3rd Criminal court on Tuesday ruled for the arrest of Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu on the charge of membership of an illegal organisation based on testimony by an anonymous witness, Mezopotamya said.

The lawyer of the journalists, Özcan Kılıç, requested that Eser and Topaloğlu be released, saying that the testimony did not provide concrete evidence that would suffice for their arrest, according to the news agency.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s broad media crackdown has gained strength since the failed coup of July 2016. 

Despite the lifting of the emergency rule in July 2018, Ankara has continued to arrest or place travel bans on scores of journalists.

Turkey maintains a global record of jailed journalists with more than 120 behind bars, according to a report by the International Press Institute (IPI).