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07 February

Journalists in State of Emergency - 116

ETHA reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar jailed while former Zaman editor İbrahim Balta released in “FETÖ media trial”

 
Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar was sent to prison by an Istanbul court on February 6, 2018.
 
Kayar was taken into custody by anti-terror police in Istanbul on February 1 as he was leaving work. He was then taken to the Vatan Police Department. The grounds for his detention were not disclosed at the time of his arrest, but reports said he was imprisoned on the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization.”
 
Former Zaman journalist released on health grounds
 
The seventh hearing in the “FETÖ media trial,” in which 29 journalists including Murat Aksoy, Hanım Büşra Erdal and Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu stand accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “coup” charges, was held on February 6, 2018 at the 25th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
 
P24 followed the hearing in the courtroom. At the end of the hearing, the court ruled to release former Zaman reporter Halil İbrahim Balta on account of his health issues. The court also adjourned the trial until February 22, where it will issue its final verdict on the case.
 
A detailed report on the hearing can be accessed here.
 
Following Kayar’s imprisonment and Balta’s release, the number of journalists serving a conviction or held in pre-trial detention has become 156. The full list can be accessed here.
 
449 people detained for social media posts on Afrin
 
A total of 449 people have been taken into custody over their social media posts about Turkey’s ongoing military operation on the Syrian town of Afrin since the operation’s launch on January 20 for “spreading terrorism propaganda,” the Interior Ministry said in a press statement issued on February 5.
 
The statement added that 124 others who took part in various protests against the operation since January 20 have also been detained.
 
The statement did not provide any information as to the number of persons who have been jailed pending trial as part of the investigations, if any. The statement said those who were detained were charged with “conducting terrorism propaganda on social media.”
 
Seyri Sokak reporter Sibel Tekin, writer Emek Erez released
 
Seyri Sokak reporter and documentary maker Sibel Tekin, and Emek Erez, a writer who also contributes to the online news outlet Gazete Duvar, were released from custody on judicial control terms on February 6, 2018.
 
Both Erez and Tekin were among more than a dozen people who were detained during separate police raids in Ankara on February 2 on grounds of their social media posts. They were arrested for sharing the Turkish Medical Association’s (TTB) January 24 statement concerning Turkey’s ongoing military operation on Afrin. The statement itself has become the subject of an investigation.
 
Journalist Ümit Kartal released on judicial control
 
Ümit Kartal, the editor in chief of the Izmir-based local newspaper İz, was released from custody on February 5, 2018, four days after he was detained during a police raid on the office of the newspaper over reports the newspaper had run concerning Turkey’s military operation on Afrin.
 
Lawyers have said a restriction of access order was issued concerning Kartal’s case file during the time of his detention.
 
All TTB Central Committee members released from custody
 
All 11 members of the Turkish Medical Association’s (TTB) Central Committee who were taken into custody on January 30, 2018, have been released as of February 5.
 
Following the February 2 release of three members of the committee on judicial control terms by the Ankara 3rd Criminal Judgeship of Peace, the remaining eight doctors from the committee, including its president Professor Raşit Tükel, were also released on judicial control terms on February 5.
 
The doctors were detained as part of an investigation into the committee after the TTB issued a declaration titled “War is a public health problem” concerning the Turkish military’s ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” on the Syrian town of Afrin.
 
BTK bans access to websites of 3 news outlets
 
Access to the website 1HaberVar, founded by a group of former employees of TV and radio stations shuttered under emergency decrees, was banned by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) on February 5, 2018.
 
On February 6, the BTK also banned access to the websites of the Mesopotamia news agency (MA) and the online news portal Direnisteyiz.org.
 
Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employees detained
 
Pınar Tarlak, an employee of the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper, was taken into custody on February 7, 2018 alongside 30 others during an operation in Istanbul targeting executives of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK). The grounds for the detentions were not disclosed.
 
Meanwhile, on February 6, Mizgin Fendik, another employee for the pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, was briefly detained in Yüksekova, a district of the southeastern province of Hakkâri, as she was distributing the copies of the newspaper to subscribers. Fendik was briefly detained on January 19 as well. She was released on judicial control terms.
 
Azadiya Welat distributors appear in first hearing
 
Twelve former distributors of the shuttered Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya Welat appeared in the first hearing of the trial against them on February 2, 2018 at the 10th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır.
 
The twelve were among 24 newspaper distributors who were taken into custody during a police raid on the head office of the newspaper on August 28, 2016. The paper was later shut down by a statutory decree in October 2016.
 
The 12 newspaper distributors each face up to 15 years of jail time for distributing the paper to subscribers on the charge of “knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization.”
 
The distributors made their defense statements during the hearing, in which they said Azadiya Welat was a legitimate newspaper at the time, and requested their acquittal. The court adjourned the trial to March 28, 2018 for the prosecutor to prepare his final opinion.
 
Top court gives priority status to new applications for journalists
 
The Constitutional Court decided to give priority status to two new applications filed on January 30 on behalf of imprisoned journalists Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay after lower courts refused to implement the top court’s earlier ruling, which found that Altan and Alpay’s pre-trial detentions amounted to rights violations. In a decision communicated to lawyers representing Altan and Alpay on February 2, the Constitutional Court also rejected requests to issue interim measures to order the release of Altan and Alpay from pre-trial detention. 
 
In another development, the European Court of Human Rights judge Işıl Karakaş of Turkey was recused from the cases of Altan and Alpay. M. Ergin Ergül will replace Karakaş to judge these cases on an ad hoc basis.
 
Alayumat, Akman appear at first hearing of “espionage” case
 
Erdoğan Alayumat and Nuri Akman, two reporters for the shuttered Dicle Media News Agency (Dihaber), on February 2, 2018 appeared in the first hearing of the trial in which both are facing up to 45 years in prison on charges of “Procuring information that must remain confidential for political or military espionage purposes” and “Membership in a terrorist organization.”
 
The 2nd High Criminal Court of Hatay ruled for continued detention for Alayumat, and the continuation of judicial control terms imposed on Akman. The trial was adjourned to April 25.
 
A detailed report on the hearing, followed by P24 in the courtroom, can be found here.
 
List of journalists in prison
 
1       Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2       Abdullah Kaya, DİHA
3       Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
4       Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
5       Abdulvahap İş (Freelance journalist)
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, former Zaman columnist
19     Ali Sönmez Kayar, ETHA reporter
20     Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
21     Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
22     Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
23     Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
24     Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
25     Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
26     Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
27     Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
28     Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
29     Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
30     Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
31     Behram Kılıç
32     Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
33     Burak Ekici, Birgün
34     Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum 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     Çağdaş Erdoğan, Photojournalist
41     Deniz Yücel, Die Welt
42     Emin Demir, Freelancer
43     Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
44     Ercan Gün, Fox TV
45     Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
46     Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
47     Erdoğan Alayamut, Dihaber reporter
48     Erol Yüksel (TRT News Department vice president))
49     Erol Zavar, Odak magazine, owner and newsroom director
50     Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
51     Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
52     Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
53     Fevzi Yazıcı
54     Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
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     Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
68     Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
69     Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
70     Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
71     Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
72     Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
73     İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
74     İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
75     İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
76     İdris Yılmaz
77     İshak Karakaş, Hakın Nabzı editor in chief
78     İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
79     İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
80     İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
81     Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
82     Kemal Demir, TV 10
83     Kemal Özer, Evrensel
84     Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
85     Mehmet Ali Ay
86     Mehmet Altan
87     Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
88     Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
89     Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
90     Mehmet Gündem
91     Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
92     Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
93     Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
94     Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
95     Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
96     Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
97     Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
98     Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
99     Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
100    Murat Çapan, Nokta
101    Murat Dağdeviren (Demokrat Gebze owner)
102    Murat Sabuncu, Editor-in- Chief
103    Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor,
104    Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
105    Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
106    Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
107    Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
108    Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
109    Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız (local) Editor-in-Chief
110    Nedim Türfent,DİHA
111    Nizamettin İzgi (Batman Newspaper’s owner)
112    Nuh Gönültaş
113    Nur Ener, Yeni Asya
114    Nuri Durna, TRT
115    Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
116    Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
117    Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
118    Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
119    Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
120    Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
121    Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
122    Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
123    Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
124    Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
125    Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
126    Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
127    Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
128    Seda Taşkın, Mesopotamia News Agency reporter
129    Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
130    Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
131    Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
132    Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
133    Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
134    Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
135    Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
136    Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
137    Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
138    Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
139    Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
140    Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
141    Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
142    Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
143    Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
144    Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
145    Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
146    Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
147    Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
148    Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
149    Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
150    Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
151    Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
152    Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
153    Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
154    Zafer Özsoy
155    Zehra Doğan, Jinha
156    Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter
 
For a full list of all the imprisoned journalists in Turkey, visit this spreadsheet. Lists of all of the foundations and associations as well as media outlets shut down can also be found at the same link, although on different tabs of the same spreadsheet.

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