Turkish police detains YouTube journalists in dawn raids
Three Turkish YouTubers who publish street interviews on their channels were detained in early morning raids on their homes. A fourth YouTuber’s home was also raided, but he was not detained as he was not home at the time, daily Evrensel reported on Sunday.
Arif Kocabıyık and Turan Kural from İlave TV and Hasan Köksoy from Kendine Muhabir were detained. The fourth YouTuber is Mehmet Koyuncu, who owns Sade Vatandaş.
Köksoy had been detained last week as well, over the comments of one interviewee who called for a revolution against the government. The interviewee was arrested.
Köksoy’s wife used Kendine Muhabir’s Twitter account to announce his detention.
Sabah saat 7de polis evimize baskın yapıp,bilgisayar ve bütün iletişim araçlarımızı aldılar.Eşimi Hasan Köksoy’u şu an polisler araca bindirip götürdüler...arama emri sebebi Mücahit birinci..— Kendine Muhabir (@KendineMuhabir) December 12, 2021
“At 7 a.m. the police raided our home and took our computers and all communication devices,” Köksoy said. “The reason for the search warrant was Mücahit Birinci.”
Birinci, central committee member in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is known for his focus on social media and Internet journalism.
“We are journalists who are trying to make the voice of the people on the streets heard in the palace,” Koyuncu said in a tweet.
Öncelikle geçmiş olsun diyen ve bizlerin yanında duran tüm halkımıza sonsuz teşekkürler. Bizler sokaktaki halkın sesini saraylara duyurmaya çalışan gazetecileriz. Uzun zamandır sarayın halkın sesinden rahatsız olduğu ve düşmanlaştırdığı hepinizin bildiği bir şey.— Sade Vatandaş Mehmet Koyuncu (@sadevatandasyt) December 12, 2021
The raids came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said social media had become a threat to democracy and national security, vowing to “protect citizens from lies and disinformation”.