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13 September

Journalists in State of Emergency - 89

No journalists released in the second hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial. ECtHR grants UN special rapporteur leave to intervene...

 
 
 
Second hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial, where six out of 20 defendants are imprisoned, was heard on September 11, at the Istanbul 27 High Criminal Court in Silivri, near Istanbul.
 
The court, which made an interim ruling at the end of the session, decided that Editor-in-Chief  Murat Sabuncu, President of the Cumhuriyet Executive Board lawyer Akın Atalay, columnist and publications advisor Kadri Gürsel, Cumhuriyet reporter Ahmet Şık, accountant Emre İper and Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu – a teacher unrelated to Cumhuriyet who is accused on the basis of his tweets, remain under arrest.
 
The interim decision was in keeping with the prosecutor’s request, who had asked for continued imprisonment of the suspects on the grounds that the suspects might “obscure evidence” and are a “flight risk.”
 
The trial was adjourned until September 25. The next hearing will be heard at the Çağlayan Courtroom in central Istanbul. The presiding judge said remaining witnesses will be heard in the next trial, after which the court will be able to make a “sounder decision.”
 
Emre İper, an accountant for Cumhuriyet who was arrested on April 19 on charges of using ByLock – a secret communications app allegedly used by the Fethullah Gülen network –  delivered his defense statement for the first time. Rejecting the allegation that he used ByLock, İper also denied the accusation of “membership in a terrorist organization” directed against him.
 
“I would rather be held for an entire lifetime without any questioning than be held on FETÖ charges for just a single day,” he said. FETÖ – an acronym for Fetullahist Terrorist Organization – is the name used for the Fethullah Gülen network by Turkish authorities. “I would like my acquittal from this shameful accusation,” he said.
 
Witnesses whose testimony were included in the indictment delivered statements in the next phase of the trial. The session lasted until late hours of the evening. Former Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper İbrahim Yıldız, its current news coordinator Aykut Küçükkaya, former Cumhuriyet Foundation board member  Nevzat Tüfekçioğlu, Cumhuriyet reporter Miyase İlknur, former Cumhuriyet Foundation Nail İnal, Cumhuriyet columnist Şükran Soner, Cumhuriyet Foundation’s former accountant and executive Mustafa Pamukoğlu and former Cumhuriyet Foundation executive İnan Kıraç were heard as witnesses.
 
Some of the witnesses did not testify against the defendants, saying that they had voiced criticism of how the foundation was managed, but did not agree with the terror charges leveled at the defendants.
 
Former Cumhuriyet Foundation executive İnan Kıraç said: “In my testimony, I said ‘I used to read Cumhuriyet, but I don’t read it anymore and I don’t approve of its editorial policy.’ However, what I meant wasn’t that the newspaper had connections to terrorist groups. What I meant is that they strayed away from the path laid down by İlhan Selçuk and Uğur Mumcu.”
 
Miyase İlknur referred to herself as a “forced witness,” saying she hadn’t wanted to testify. She said as a reporter who is not part of the management team at the newspaper, any information she has could only be based on hearsay and her own comments.
 
 
“I am under arrest because I am a critical journalist”
 
Journalist Kadri Gürsel, who spoke in the hearing, said his defense statement was ignored by the authorities, asserting that his right to a fair trial had been violated.
 
He also denied claims that he had talked to people who used ByLock. He said most of these accusations stemmed from calls or SMS messages received from ByLock users, whose calls had gone unanswered.
 
Phone records also show, Gürsel said, that the last ByLock user who called him had phoned him 6.5 months prior to his employment at Cumhuriyet.
 
“I think I might be the only person under arrest in these media trials who was locked up for having been contacted by people who used ByLock.”
 
“The reason why I am being tried here is not because ByLock users contact me; it is because I am a critical journalist. I am being tried for my thoughts and journalistic activities. My only wish is a fair trial.”
 
“I have a clean conscience regardless of what decision comes out of this trial,” he said.
 
Sabuncu: Trial a dark stain
 
Murat Sabuncu said he had spent 10.5 months out of the 12 months he served as editor-in-chief in prison. He said the expert witness of the prosecution had never worked as a journalist and whose age was the same as the number of years he worked as a journalist.
 
“This trial will go down in the history of free speech as a dark stain,” he said, adding: “We will continue to defend free speech for all journalists in Turkey, even if we spend more time in prison.”
 
Cumhuriyet reporter Ahmet Şık said: “I was arrested on charges of spreading propaganda for FETÖ, DHKP-C and the PKK, and later my case was merged with this trial. The public likely thought it was being taken for a fool because of the FETÖ allegation and so this charge was dropped and I was officially charged with propaganda of the PKK and the DHKP-C.”
 
Akın Atalay, who also spoke in the trial, said the case was a clear “picture of the democratic level Turkey was taken to.”
 
“It has been reported by several international organizations that work on press freedoms that we are one of the worst offenders in terms of stifling media freedom,” he said.
 
 
UN special rapporteur to intervene in ECHR cases of Turkish journalists
 
 
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has granted David Kaye, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, leave to intervene in the cases of 10 imprisoned Turkish journalists including Ahmet and  Mehmet Altan, Şahin Alpay, Nazlı Ilıcak, Deniz Yücel and Cumhurriyet journalists.
 
A notice from the court on Sept. 11 said Kaye’s application for a leave to intervene, filed on Aug. 30, was granted. The court asked for an opinion from the rapporteur that will be no longer than 10 pages by Oct. 23.
 
 
Prosecutor demands punishment for journalist Eryılmaz
 
Tuğrul Eryılmaz, a journalist who acted as an editor in chief for the shuttered Özgür Gündem daily as part of a solidarity campaign organized for the newspaper before its closure, appeared before a court on Sept. 12.
 
The prosecution asked for Eryılmaz to be sentenced on charges of “publishing criminal materials from terrorist organizations. “
 
The case is being heard by the 22th High Criminal Court of İstanbul.
 
 
List of journalists imprisoned in Turkey
 
 
1          Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2          Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
3          Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
4          Abdulvahap İş (Freelance journalist)
5          Abdürrahim Ersöz, Antalya
6          Ahmet Altan
7          Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt
8          Ahmet Memiş, Gazeteci, Haberdar news website
9          Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
10       Ahmet Şık, Cumhuriyet reporter
11       Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
12       Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
13       Akın Atalay, Pres. of Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board
14       Alaattin Güner, Cihan media director
15       Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
16       Ali Aşikar – Azadiya Welat
17       Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
18       Ali Bulaç, Eski Zaman columnist
19       Ali Konar, Azadiya Welat bureau chief
20       Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
21       Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
22       Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
23       Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
24       Atilla Taş, Meydan columnist
25       Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
26       Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
27       Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
28       Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
29       Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
30       Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
31       Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
32       Burak Ekici, Birgün
33       Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
34       Cebrail Parıltı, Anadolu Ajansı (AA) Derik reporter
35       Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
36       Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
37       Cuma Kaya, Zaman
38       Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
39       Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
40       Deniz Yücel, Die Welt
41       Emin Demir, Freelancer
42       Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
43       Ercan Gün, Fox TV
44       Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
45       Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
46       Erdoğan Alayamut, Dihaber reporter
47       Erol Yüksel (TRT News Department vice president))
48       Erol Zavar, Odak magazine, owner and newsroom director
49       Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
50       Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
51       Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
52       Fevzi Yazıcı
53       Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
54       Gökmen Ulu, Sözcü
55       Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
56       Gültekin Avcı
57       Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
58       Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
59       Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
60       Hakan Taşdelen
61       Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
62       Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
63       Hamza Günerigök, TRT
64       Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
65       Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
66       Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper’s owner and managing editor
67       Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
68       Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
69       Hülya Karakaya, Özgür Halk Managing Editor
70       Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
71       Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
72       İbrahim Balta, Zaman business editor
73       İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
74       İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
75       İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
76       İlker İlkan, Azadiya Welat
77       İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Gündem Newsroom Editor
78       İsmail Avcı, Zaman
79       İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
80       Kadri Gürsel, Editorial Advisor
81       Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
82       Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
83       Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
84       Lokman Erdoğan, Çorum Manşet, owner
85       Loup Bureau, freelancer
86       Mahir Kanaat, BirGün, head of accountingn
87       Mediha Olgun, Sözcü
88       Mehmet Ali Aya
89       Mehmet Altan
90       Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
91       Mehmet Çakmakçı, Medyascope.tv reporter
92       Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
93       Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
94       Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
95       Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
96       Mehmet Sıddık Damar
97       Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
98       Meşale Tolu, ETHA translater
99       Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
100     Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
101     Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
102     Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
103     Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
104     Murat Aksoy,former Yeni Şafak columnist
105     Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
106     Murat Çapan,
107     Murat Çelikkan (Özgür Gündem solidarity trial)
108     Murat Dağdeviren (Demokrat Gebze owner)
109     Murat Sabuncu, Editor-in- Chief
110     Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor,
111     Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
112     Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
113     Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
114     Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
115     Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
116     Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız (local) Editor-in-Chief
117     Nedim Türfent,DİHA
118     Nizamettin İzgi (Batman Newspaper’s owner)
119     Nur Ener, Yeni Asya
120     Nuri Durna, TRT
121     Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
122     Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
123     Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
124     Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
125     Ömer Çelik, DİHA news manager
126     Ömer Faruk Aydemir, İHA editor
127     Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
128     Ömer Özdemir, Antalya eski Zaman muhabiri
129     Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
130     Özkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
131     Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
132     Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
133     Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
134     Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
135     Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
136     Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
137     Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
138     Selman Keleş, DİHA
139     Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
140     Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
141     Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
142     Serkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
143     Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
144     Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
145     Sezgin Kartal, Sosyalist Dayanımşa magazine
146     Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
147     Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
148     Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
149     Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
150     Şirin Çoban, Azadiya Welat
151     Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
152     Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
153     Tunca Öğreten, former Diken editor
154     Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
155     Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
156     Ulaş Sezgin, ETHA reporter
157     Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
158     Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
159     Vedat Beki, Sözcü 18
160     Vedat Demir, former Yarına Bakış writer
161     Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
162     Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
163     Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
164     Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
165     Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
166     Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
167     Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
168     Yusuf Karataş, Evrensel columnist
169     Zafer Özsoy
170     Zehra Doğan, Jinha
171     Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter
 

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