Mezopotamya news agency editor Ziyan Karahan and three other journos arrested as part of operations that came immediately on the heels of the government’s removal of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van mayors from office

Four journalists were taken into custody on 19 August 2019 in Diyarbakır as part of sweeping operations across several cities. The operations followed immediately on the heels of the removal of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van mayors from office late on 18 August by the government, which appointed trustees to run these three cities.

The Mezopotamya news agency (MA) reported on Monday that Ziyan Karahan, an editor for the agency’s Kurdish edition, was arrested during a raid on her home in Diyarbakır as part of the operations. MA said Karahan was brought to the Diyarbakır Police Department’s anti-terror branch. The grounds for Karahan’s arrest were not immediately disclosed.

Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) Diyarbakır representative Mahmut Oral told P24 that journalist Tümen Anlı, the press and media relations officer for the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Vedat Dağ, the press relations officer for the Diyarbakır branch of People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and Özgür Ülke, the press relations officer for the local Bismil Municipality, were also taken into custody during Monday’s raids.

The four journalists were among a total of 418 individuals, who also included local HDP politicians and municipal employees, arrested as part of the operations that took place in the early hours of Monday.

Of the 418 people arrested, 40 people — including Ziyan Karahan — were brought to the Diyarbakır Courthouse late on 22 August, after which they were released. Tümen Anlı and Vedat Dağ were among 44 others whose custody period was extended until 26 August.

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