13/09/2018
 

Turkey: Austrian journalist Max Zirngast arrested in Ankara

Banner which reads "Turkey Set Journalists Free" during a protest on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, on March 4, 2011. Turkish police today detained about 10 people, mostly journalists, in a crackdown on an alleged secularist network accused of conspiring to topple the Islamic-rooted government Photo © : MUSTAFA OZER / AFP

Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained together with two other Turkish citizens, in the early hours of 11 September by anti-terror authorities in his apartment in Ankara, Turkey. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) backed its affiliate in Austria the Gewerkschaft der Privatangestellten, Druck, Journalismus, Papier (GPA-djp) in demanding the release of Max Zirngast from custody.

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TOP NEWS, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Arab World, Libertad de Prensa, Proyectos, Informes y Publicaciones, Política

Austrian journalist Max Zirngast was detained together with two other Turkish citizens, in the early hours of 11 September by anti-terror authorities in his apartment in Ankara, Turkey. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) backed its affiliate in Austria the Gewerkschaft der Privatangestellten, Druck, Journalismus, Papier (GPA-djp) in demanding the release of Max Zirngast from custody.

The reason for detention has not been published yet, but, according to media reports, he could have been detained on charges of “support for a terrorist organization” and because of his “political publications”. Allegations might be related to his civil and political activism against the Turkish government.

Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), was a contributor to a number of left-wing publications, such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük.

He was publishing content often critical to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as covering topics of Kurdish affairs. Max Zirngast was also known of being politically active in the election campaign of pro-kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).

The Austrian government Opens external link in new windowdemanded the immediate release of the journalist. 

Eike Kullmann, the chairperson of the journalists' union in the GPA-djp, said : 

The arrest of the Austrian is not the first case of political arbitrariness of the Turkish government against regime critics. We have been witnessing massive repression of journalists and the media for years. Turkey is moving more and more away from the standards of a free and democratic society.

 


For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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