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15 February

Journalists in State of Emergency - 119

Imprisoned BirGün editor Burak Ekici appears in first hearing of trial; court rules to keep Ekici in pretrial detention in Silivri

The first hearing in a case in which imprisoned journalist Burak Ekici, an editor for the BirGün daily, is on trial on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” was held on February 13, 2018, at the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
P24 followed the hearing at the courtroom in the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.
The prosecutor requested Ekici’s conviction on “membership in a terrorist organization” charge based on the allegation that he had used the encrypted messaging application “ByLock” 217 times. The application was purportedly used exclusively by the members of the “Fetullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure” (FETÖ/PDY), the name given by Turkish authorities to the Islamist movement led by Fethullah Gülen.
Lawyers representing Ekici requested additional time for the final defense statement.
At the end of the hearing, the court issued an interim decision, ruling for the continuation of Ekici’s detention on remand, and adjourning the trial until February 27.
Ekici was arrested on August 10, 2017, along with 10 other journalists, on the allegation that they were ByLock users. Ten of the 11 journalists, including Ekici, were jailed pending trial.
Reporter detained twice in one week over same case file
Ahmet Kanbal, an Izmir-based reporter for the Mesopotamia news agency (MA), was arrested again on February 12, 2018, less than a week after he was released from custody, based on a previous arrest warrant against him that had apparently been forgotten to be lifted by the prosecutor investigating the case. Kanbal was released on February 13 after the Mersin Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office lifted the arrest warrant, through which Kanbal was initially arrested on February 8 and released a day later.
Kanbal had said back then that the accusations against him were in connection with his social media posts on Afrin, the northern Syrian town on which Turkey is currently conducting a military operation.
Kanbal said he would file a complaint concerning his February 12 rearrest.
Berberoğlu sentenced to 5 years in prison in the MIT trucks case
Enis Berberoğlu, a deputy for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on February 13, 2018, was sentenced to a reduced term of five years and 10 months in jail by an appellate court, which convicted Berberoğlu of disclosing government secrets, in what was the third hearing of his retrial in the so-called “MIT [National Intelligence Agency] trucks case.”
Berberoğlu was initially given a 25-year sentence in June for his alleged role in the publication of a news report in Cumhuriyet newspaper, which suggested that the Turkish government might have sent weapons to armed groups in Syria on trucks operated by MİT. But the Second Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Law, an appellate court, overturned the verdict and ordered the retrial of Berberoğlu.
The defense will appeal the February 13 verdict. In the meantime, Berberoğlu will remain in detention.
Journalist İbrahim Gezici briefly taken into custody
Journalist İbrahim Gezici was briefly detained on February 11, 2018 at the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul upon his arrival on a flight back from Germany. Gezici was brought to the Anadolu Courthouse the following day for an interrogation by the prosecutor concerning his social media posts. Gezici was released from custody the same day with a ban on traveling overseas.
Turkey to pay 4,500 euros for violating freedom of expression
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on February 13, 2018 that Turkey pays 4,500 euros in compensation for refusing to issue a national security clearance certificate to Dara Radio TV, a local TV station based in the southeastern province of Mardin whose purpose was to mainly broadcast in the Kurdish language. The grounds for the dismissal of the certificate, a prerequisite for obtaining a broadcasting licence, were not made public due to the “confidentiality of the investigation.” The European Court held in its unanimous ruling that Turkish authorities’ decision not to grant the station the required certificate, with reasons unknown, was in breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The application to the European Court was lodged by the company’s chairperson, Türkan Aydoğan, in 2006 after successive appeals to Turkish authorities had failed. Without the required certificate Dara TV was not entitled to broadcast.
474 detained in social media crackdown on Afrin posts
A total of 474 individuals have been taken into custody on account of their social media posts concerning Turkey’s military operation on the Syrian town of Afrin since the operation’s launch on January 20, 2018, the Interior Ministry said in its weekly press release.
In the statement posted February 12 on its official website, the ministry said that 192 others who participated in demonstrations against Turkey’s operation have also been detained.
Separately, Bianet reported that five people in the southern Hatay province who have been in custody on account of their social media posts were sent to prison in the later hours of February 12 on charges of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization,” bringing the number of those imprisoned in connection with social media posts on afrin to at least 39.
15 Academics for Peace appear in first hearings
Fifteen of the “academics trials” against the signatories of 2016’s Academics for Peace petition got under way at the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan on February 13.
First hearings of 13 trials were held at the 34th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on Tuesday, while two of the hearings took place at the 36th High Criminal Court.
The indictment accuses the signatories of the petition of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The petition was signed by 1,128 academics. Individual lawsuits have been opened against at least 148 of the academics so far. The trials got under way on December 5, 2017.
Altan brothers and Ilıcak give final defense statements
Imprisoned journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak gave their final defense statements on the second day of the fifth and final hearing in a case where they are on trial at the 26th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
A detailed report on the hearing, followed by P24 at the courtroom, can be found here.
Çağdaş Erdoğan released from prison in 1st hearing
Imprisoned photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan was released pending trial on February 13, 2018 during the first hearing of a criminal case against him, in which he faces 22.5 years in prison on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The 33rd High Criminal Court of Istanbul released Erdoğan on judicial control terms and adjourned the trial to June 1.
A detailed report on the hearing, followed by P24 at the courtroom, can be found here.
Following Çağdaş Erdoğan’s release from the Silivri Prison in Istanbul on February 13, the number of jailed journalists in Turkey dropped to 156. The full list 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     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     Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
55     Gültekin Avcı
56     Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
57     Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
58     Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
59     Hakan Taşdelen
60     Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
61     Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
62     Hamza Günerigök, TRT
63     Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
64     Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
65     Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper’s owner and managing editor
66     Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
67     Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
68     Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
69     Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
70     Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
71     Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
72     İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
73     İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
74     İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
75     İdris Yılmaz
76     İshak Karakaş, Hakın Nabzı editor in chief
77     İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
78     İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
79     İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
80     Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
81     Kemal Demir, TV 10
82     Kemal Özer, Evrensel
83     Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
84     Mehmet Ali Ay
85     Mehmet Altan
86     Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
87     Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
88     Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
89     Mehmet Gündem
90     Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
91     Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
92     Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
93     Mete Cem Bahtiyar, former BirGün 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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