The authorities in Turkey today detained a journalist working for the BBC's Turkish language service in the southeast of the country, the broadcaster said. Hatice Kamer was detained while reporting on a mine disaster in the Kurdish-dominated Siirt region of the southeast that left 10 miners dead and six missing, BBC Turkce (BBC Turkish) said in a statement on its website. It said that she had been looking to talk to relatives of the miners at the copper mine, which collapsed late on November 17.
Rescue efforts are still continuing at the mine. There had been no explanation of the reason for her detention, it added, and no comment from Turkish officials. BBC Turkce said Kamer is a board member for the association of journalists in southeast Turkey. Dozens of journalists have been detained in Turkey under the state of emergency in the wake of the July 15 failed coup. Critics say the scope of the crackdown goes far beyond measures against the suspected coup plotters and is targeting any critic of President Erdogan. According to the Platform for Independent Journalism website, there are now 145 journalists behind bars in Turkey, which is ranked 151st of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom index published by Reporters Without Borders. Ten staff from the anti-Erdogan Cumhuriyet daily were arrested earlier this month, causing an international outcry. But several of the journalists under arrest are from the Kurdish-majority southeast where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is waging a deadly insurgency against the military.
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