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BBC, VOA journalists detained in southeast Turkey

BBC Turkish said their journalist was reporting on a mining accident [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 November, 2016

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Turkish authorities on Saturday detained two reporters working for foreign organisations in the country’s southeast, in the latest crackdown on journalists operating in Turkey.
Turkish authorities on Saturday detained two reporters working for foreign organisations in the country’s southeast, the latest journalists to be detained in Turkey.

Hatice Kamer, a journalist with the BBC’s Turkish language service was arrested while reporting on a mine disaster in the Kurdish-dominated Siirt region of the southeast that left 10 miners dead and six missing, BBC Turkish said in a statement on its website.

It said that she had been looking to talk to relatives of the miners at the copper mine, which collapsed late on November 17.

Rescue efforts are still continuing at the mine. There had been no explanation of the reason for her detention.

BBC Turkish said Kamer is a board member for the association of journalists in southeast Turkey.

Meanwhile, Voice of America reports that its freelance reporter Khajijan Farqin was detained the same day in Diyarbakir.

Dozens of journalists have been detained in Turkey under the state of emergency in the wake of the July 15 failed coup.

Critics say the scope of the crackdown goes far beyond measures against the suspected coup plotters and is targeting any critic of President Erdogan.

According to the Platform for Independent Journalism website, there are now 145 journalists behind bars in Turkey, which is ranked 151st of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom index published by Reporters Without Borders.

Ten staff from the anti-Erdogan Cumhuriyet daily were arrested earlier this month, causing an international outcry.

But several of the journalists under arrest are from the Kurdish-majority southeast where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is waging a deadly insurgency against the military.

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