Journalists have launched a series of expeditions to the embattled region of Diyarbakir in Turkey’s southeast. The project, named Haber Nöbeti, or News Watch, aims to keep a record of crimes against civilians while monitoring infractions of press freedom.
The expeditions, lasting no longer than a few days each, are set to be run by volunteer reporters and independent journalists on an alternating basis. Parts of the predominantly Kurdish area have been under siege by Turkish forces for several months, and both foreign and local reporters have been harassed or imprisoned while attempting to cover stories there.
The crackdown on journalists, coming amidst widespread state censorship of the media and forcible administration of the country’s last remaining independent newspapers, has led to a dearth of verifiable information about the ongoing fighting. The Haber Nöbeti group intends to counteract disinformation by providing a verifiable newsfeed that is closer to the source of the information.
Amongst the first wave of journalists setting out on Wednesday 3 February 2016 are:
Ergun Babahan from the Özgür Düşünce daily, Celal Başlangıç from Haberdar news portal, freelance journalist Evrim Kurdoğlu, Tunca Öğreten from the Diken news portal, Önder Öner from the Etkin news agency (ETHA), Said Sefa from Haberdar, Ceren Sözeri from the Evrensel newspaper and Ayşe Yıldırım from the Cumhuriyet daily.