Turkey - Left-wing daily fears raid at behest of military prosecutor

    MONTREAL, July 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders calls on a
military prosecutor not to carry out a threat to raid the left-wing national
daily Taraf in order to recover a leaked document that was the basis for a
25 June report claiming that Turkey's intelligence services knew in advance of
an attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on an army unit near
the Iraqi border on 21 October 2007.
    The attack, carried out in Daglica, in Hakkari province, resulted in
13 soldiers being killed and eight others being kidnapped.
    Army high command prosecutor Zekeriya Duran wrote to Taraf's publisher on
3 July asking for the return of "this document and the others" by 7 July,
failing which he would be obliged to "have recourse to the security forces" in
order to recover them. The newspaper's staff has been fearing a raid ever
since the deadline passed.
    "We condemn the methods being used by the military prosecutor with
Taraf," Reporters Without Borders said. "A serious threat is being made
against the newspaper in an attempt to force it to reveal its sources. We urge
prosecutor Duran not to carry out his threat and not to conduct a search of
the newspaper."
    In his letter to the newspaper, Duran said he also wanted to establish
how documents belonging to general staff intelligence had come into the
possession of "non-competent" persons.
    Taraf publisher Ahmet Altan said in a 4 July editorial that "this request
smells like a threat." Claiming he was ready to give the published document to
anyone who requests it, he added that the "general staff should be more
explicit about the document it is referring to."
    The newspaper's staff suspect that, although against the law, a raid will
be ordered by a civilian prosecutor acting at Duran's behest.
    In his letter, Duran cited article 326 of the criminal code about
"documents concerning state security" and article 339 on "possession of
documents relative to state security" as the grounds for his request. He also
said it was a crime to obtain and reveal documents of vital importance to
national security.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Secretary General,
Reporters sans frontières Canada, (514) 521 4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org;

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