Five journalists from media outlets Mezopotamya, JinNews, and Gazete Duvar, and a pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party press worker, have been arrested in Izmir, Turkey, on Tuesday in morning house raids.

Crackdown on the press, with a particular focus on Kurdish media, persists under the coalition government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in Turkey, with five journalists and a press representative from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) being detained on Tuesday in the westernmost province of Turkey, Izmir.

In the early hours, Turkish police conducted raids on the residences of Mezopotamya Agency correspondents Semra Turan, Delal Akyüz and Tolga Güney; JinNews correspondent Melike Aydın; and Cihan Başakçıoğlu from Gazete Duvar. Additionally, Fatma Funda Akbulut, a staff member of the DEM Party’s press office, was taken into custody.

The rationale behind the arrests remains undisclosed. The six detainees are currently held at the anti-terror unit of the police in Çankaya, subjected to a 24-hour communication ban that restricts their access to legal counsel and any contact with the outside during this period.

The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) and the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Association (MKG) have voiced strong opposition to the detentions, demanding the journalists’ immediate release.

In a statement, the DFG urged the authorities to “cease committing crimes and immediately release our colleagues”. The statement highlighted the imposition of a 24-hour restriction on the detainees’ files, obscuring the reasons for their arrest, and condemned the continued pressure on journalists tasked with delivering news to the public.

The MKG, in its statement, echoed the call for the journalists’ immediate release, emphasising the deteriorating state of freedom of expression and press freedom in Turkey, as evidenced by the recent arrests and detentions of female journalists.

Both associations underscored the vital role of journalists in bringing truth to the public, asserting that such repressive measures cannot silence honourable journalists committed to uncovering the truth.