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Journalists working in Turkey face daily human rights violations.

According to the Tigris Euphrates Association of Journalists, in 2022, journalists spent more time in the courthouse.

Abdurahman Gok is one of those journalists.

Gok captured the moment of Kemal Kurkut’s murder in Newroz in Diyarbakır in 2017. Since then, he has spent most of his time in the courthouse with cases.

The 5th Heavy Criminal Court of Diyarbakır sentenced Gok to 1 year and 6 months and 22 days in prison for allegedly “propagandizing the organization”.

The Court of Appeal also affirmed the sentence imposed on Gok.

“From the beginning until now, this case is punishing the work of journalism”

Journalist Gok tells Botan Times about the court decision, “After I take the photos of Kemal Kurkut, my life changed. The state did not give up on me. This case was filed against me to punish me.”

Gok said: “At first, they asked for a 27-year sentence for me, in the process of the case, the prosecutor filed a criminal complaint against me. They prepared another file about me and combined it with the file I was being tried on. Afterward, the punishment was imposed. They were so offended by this fact that they didn’t even postpone the sentence.”

Gok says, “This punishment is the response for telling the truth.”

What happened?

23-year-old Kemal Korkut was killed by the police on the 21st of March 2017 at the Newroz celebration in Diyarbakır.

He was a student of the Music Department of the Faculty of Arts of Inonu University.

Diyarbakır’s governor stated that Kurkut had a knife in his hand and “there was a suspicion of suicide” and that they had started an investigation into the incident.

But Gok’s pictures are the opposite of these words.

The Newroz Festival is one of the most important festivals for Kurdish. They celebrate the coming of spring every year on the 21st of March.

This news was translated by Yonca Sarsilmaz