Journalists targeted after state of emergency declared

Journalists targeted after state of emergency declared
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A group of journalists have been forced away from a disaster area by the police who said they are acting on emergency powers.

The Turkish police cited state of emergency powers to force reporters out of a disaster area in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarkabir, which was hit by an earthquake on Monday.

A group of journalists reporting on operations for the rescue of victims who have been trapped under the rubble after the collapse of a 12-story shopping center, were asked by the police to present official press cards, which are provided exclusively by the Turkish presidency.

The journalists who did not have such cards were forced out of the area by the police who claimed they had such authority that was provided by the state of emergency that the Turkish president declared.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press briefing earlier in the day that a state of emergency will cover ten provinces impacted by the earthquake and will be in effect for a period of three months.

The police also threatened earthquake survivors, saying they could be detained if they speak to journalists who are not authorized, Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), reported.

Earlier, A reporter for daily Evrensel was detained in Adana over a charge of "violating the privacy of the patients" in Adana City Hospital where he interviewed some of the relatives of the patients. Reporter Volkan Pekal was released after a brief detention.

Also on Tuesday, criminal investigations were launched into remarks by two prominent journalists.

Merdan Yanardag, the director of independent broadcaster Tele1, and journalist Ender Aysever have been subjected to investigations on allegations that they have "instigated hostility among people" by their remarks about the earthquakes, MA said.