IPS journalist Jake Hess has centered his writing around the Turkish government’s treatment of Kurds along their border with Iraqi Kurdistan. But his recent articles got a little too critical, at least in the Turkish government’s view, and he wound up in prison and charged with terrorism.
Jake Hess, a 25 year old journalist whose writings have appeared at Antiwar.com, had made no bones about his advocacy of the plight of displaced Kurds in the region, but officials insisted he was an “activist” and tied to the banned KCK, itself an umbrella group for a number of other banned Kurdish groups across Turkey, and insisted that whatever protection he had as a journalist no longer applied. He was swept up last week in the mass arrest of Kurdish activists.
But according to Hess, his interrogation centered strictly around his articles, written while working for news agency IPS, and he was told by officials in no uncertain terms that his articles are “harming Turkey’s image.”
Officials say they are planning to deport Hess from Turkey, but he will have to wait “a week to 10 days” in a Turkish prison before the deportation order comes around. His detention has sparked condemnation from a number of journalists’ organizations, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF).