It appears the Turkish government is attempting to suppress criticism of a mine disaster last weekend that killed 12 miners and left four still missing.
The Guardian reports that Turkish authorities detained a journalist working for the BBC’s Turkish-language service in southeastern Turkey. The female reporter was apparently attempting to speak with relatives of the miners who died at the mine. No explanation has been given for detaining her.
The disaster happened November 17 at the Madenköy copper mine, located in the Şirvan district of Siirt province. In a statement, private company Park Elektrik A.Ş. blamed heavy rains for the landslide, which collapsed a hillside, burying the workers and their equipment.
Five bodies were found last weekend during a search that included rescue teams from the Turkish government, the Turkish Red Crescent, the army and the company. The bodies of another seven were found days later; efforts are still ongoing for the four people still unaccounted for.
According to the country’s state-run news agency last Sunday, six people were detained during an investigation into the mine collapse.
Turkey is not known as a country that respects press freedom. After the failed coup attempt in July, a state of emergency was called, resulting in the detention of dozens of reporters. The Guardian reports 145 journalists are currently in Turkish jails, quoting numbers from the Platform for Independent Journalism website.