ISTANBUL — Turkish police detained five journalists and issued arrest warrants on four more who reported on the leaked emails of Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, according to pro-government daily Sabah.
The emails were hacked by a Marxist hacker group, RedHack, and were leaked to the public in October after the group’s demand for the release of political prisoners was not met. Subsequent to the public leak, the government had banned cloud services. The email archive was later indexed by WikiLeaks, which remains banned in Turkey.
On Sunday morning, Turkish Police arrested Diken’s former editor Tunca Ogreten, Dihaber’s editor Omer Celik and journalist Metin Yoksu, Yolculuk website editor-in-chief Eray Sargin, BirGun’s Mahir Kanaat on charges of being “members of terrorist group”.
Dihaber’s Celik was arrested in his house. The police forces entered his house and cursed him by saying you are “Armenian scums”.
Under the current state of emergency, Turkish prosecutors are allowed to limit attorney’s access to case files and evidence against their clients. However, pro-government media was served with the details of the case to create a public pressure against journalists. Ogreten, the former reporter for Diken who is charged with “membership of a terrorist organization,” has been further stripped of his right to an attorney for the next five days.
With last week’s arrest of the Syrian-born journalist Husnu Mahalli and Sunday’s house raids, the number of journalists behind bars has reached 153, making Turkey the worst jailer of journalists in the world according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’s 2016 prison census.