Shortly afterwards, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reporters Cemil Uğur and Adnan Bilen, Jinnews reporter Şehriban Abi and journalist Nazan Sala were arrested on charge of "membership of the organization" on October 9.
Cemil Uğur, one of the arrested journalists in Turkey's Kurdish-majority eastern province of Van, has sent a letter to the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS). Sharing absurdities about the trial and their arrest without any evidence, Uğur has briefly stated the following in his letter:
'We could not ignore the reports, witnesses'
"I was taken into custody on October 6. I was arrested on October 9 with three of our colleagues. There was no concrete evidence, but we were arrested anyway. We were not arrested as persons Cemil, Adnan, Şehriban and Nazan. It was journalism that has been arrested. They do not want us to tell the truth. They think that they can stop us by arresting us.
"We know that the government is distrubed by the news about the helicopter but we could not ignore the hospital reports and the eyewitnesses. We would not have done our jobs if we had ignored the reports and witnesses. We tried to bring the truth to the people at all costs.
"I want to draw attention to something. In referring us to court with a request for our arrest, the prosecutor said, 'As it is understood that the objects found during the search were stolen by the said persons.'
"The prosecutor who issued a warrant for our detention with the allegation of 'being a member of a terrorist organization' demanded our detention for an absent reason which indicates he was instructed by someone to detain us.
"He approved this by deciding to arrest us at the court. We were basically arrested for 'theft'! But, in reality, no questions were asked about theft neither at the police headquarters nor the prosecutor's office. It has not been seen in history that law became so frivolous and absurd.
'There is no crime, but an instruction'
"On the other hand, the court went so far to say that we are not journalists because we do not have the press cards given by the Presidency. The fact that I am a member of the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS) and Mersin Journalists' Association proves that I am a journalist.
"I laughed at the court that said Adnan Bilen, who is a journalist for 20 years, was not a journalist. I understand these are all crazy decisions. Because there is no crime, but there is an instruction. They did their best to follow that instruction, but they messed it up. What happened here is something to be condemned in the history of Turkey.
"Just think about it. They tapped my phone and listened to me for months. They recorded one phone call and that was an interview. They wanted to prosecute journalism here.
"We have said that we are the voice of the truth and we defend the right to receive news in all platforms and we will continue to do so. We will continue to uphold the dignity and honour of journalism they want to trample.
"We know that you are always with us. Thank you for your solidarity."
Police raided the office of Mezopotamya Agency (MA) and houses of several journalists, including Jinnews reporters, in Turkey's Kurdish majority eastern province of Van in the early morning hours on October 5.
Cemil Uğur, one of the detained journalists, revealed it with documents that Servet Turgut and Osman Şiban were dropped from a helicopter after they had been taken into custody by the soldiers launching an operation in the rural parts of Çatak district in Van. Treated in the intensive care unit for days after the incident, Turgut lost his life on September 30.
The Van Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, which conducts an investigation into the allegations, has both imposed a confidentiality order on the file and a ban on news to be broadcast or published about the allegations. (HA/SD)