Azadiya Welat (Kurdish for: "Freedom of the Country") was a newspaper in the Kurdish language published in Turkey. It was shut down on 28 August 2016 when police raided the newspaper's headquarters in Diyarbakir, taking all 27 staff into custody.[1]

History and profile

The paper was first published as a weekly newspaper with the name Welat in Istanbul on 22 February 1992.[2] In 1996 it began to be published with its current name, Azadiya Welat.[2] In 2003 the headquarters of the paper moved from Istanbul to Diyarbakır.[2] In 2006 it became a daily newspaper.[2]

Its editor-in-chief was sentenced to 3 years in prison in 2010.[3] A journalist who was distributing Azadiya Welat was murdered in 2014.[4]

Kurdish inmates in some Turkey jails were not allowed to receive the newspaper in 2007.[5] This interdiction is justified by a reference to the law no. 5275.[6] In 2015, the European Court of Human Rights rules the unpredictability of how the law is applied is a violation of article 10 of the Convention.[5]


  1. ^ "Türkische Polizei stürmt kurdische Zeitung" [Turkish police raids Kurdish newspaper]. Der Standard (in German). 28 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Non-Turkish language newspapers and minority press". European Stability Initiative. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Azadiya Welat sentenced to three years in prison". WAN-IFRA. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  4. ^ ""Azadiya Welat Dağıtımcısı Kadri Bağdu Öldürüldü" ("Kadri Bağdu, Journal distributed for Azadiya Welat, Killed")". Bianet. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b Mesut Yurtsever et al vs Turkey, 20 January 2015.
  6. ^ Law No. 5275 on the execution of penalties and security measures Archived July 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, 13 December 2004.

External links

  • Official website