Journalist and writer Nurcan Baysal, who was detained in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır earlier today (June 3) on charge of “membership of a terrorist organization”, has been released.
Taken to the Diyarbakır Anti-Terror Branch in the morning hours on the ground that there was a warrant previously issued against her, Baysal deposed to the Penal Judgeship of Peace on Duty.
It has been reported that she deposed on the allegation of “membership of a terrorist organization” on the ground that she attended a meeting held by the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in Diyarbakır in 2012.
Being released from custody, Baysal’s warrant has also been lifted.
Speaking to bianet after she was released, Nurcan Baysal has said, “How hard it is to write the truth, especially as a woman. We do not know what will happen next. My lawyer will learn about it after the festive holiday.”
Baysal has also stated that during her deposition, she was asked questions partly about the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and mostly about the Diyarbakır Institute for Political and Social Research (DİSA) based on wiretapping and email tracking between 2010 and 2012:
“I am not a member of the DTK, they asked questions about a meeting that I attended. It was on development and poverty, which are my fields.
“They were questions about the activities undertaken by the DİSA, particularly in mother tongue, and known by the public. The meetings that I was asked about were attended by everyone, including people from the Justice and Development Party (AKP).”
Baysal was previously detained in Diyarbakır on January 22, 2018 due to her social media posts regarding the Operation Olive Branch, which was launched into Syria’s Afrin by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) on January 20, 2018. Detained for two days, Baysal was released on probation.
Born in 1975, Nurcan Baysal is a Kurdish journalist and human rights defender based in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır. When the government launched a military offensive in the south-east in 2016, Baysal spent months visiting Kurdish villages under bombardment, documenting human rights violations, and stopping to help families.
Her writings are known for their critical focus on women living under the bombardment. When the authorities launched a military operation in Afrin, Baysal took to social media to demand peace and condemn the assault.
She was detained due to her social media posts about Afrin, and though later released, she faced up to 3 years in jail in cases related to her writing. Baysal, according to authorities’ claims, had “spread propaganda for armed terrorist organizations … and a call for provocative actions.”
In addition to her reporting, Nurcan has also co-founded several NGOs, set up a camp to help Yazidi women fleeing the Islamic State, and been a key voice in countless reconciliation programs in the region. (TP/SD)