Turkish court closes key pro-Kurdish newspaper in Turkey

A Turkish court has ordered the closure of newspaper Ozgur Gundem, charging that it spreads terrorist propaganda for the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to a copy of the decision circulated by activists.

The newspaper, published in the Turkish language, is focused largely on issues related to the Kurdish minority in Turkey and the conflict between the PKK and the state.

Ozgur Gundem has in the past featured the writing of Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK's jailed leader, and has published columns by senior rebel commanders.

A Turkish official said the closure of Ozgur Gundem was the result of a court order and was not related to the state of emergency. The defendants could appeal, the official said.

The newspaper and its staff have been hounded by the authorities for more than two decades, including repeated arrests and closures.

It was relaunched under its current name in 2011, though it continued to face disruptions, as many media outlets in Turkey have. The country has the highest number of jailed reporters in Europe.

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