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02 March

Journalists in State of Emergency - 125

13 journalists receive prison sentences in February, CHP lawmaker highlights in monthly “Rights Violations on the Press Report”

 
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Barış Yarkadaş, on February 28, released the latest edition of his monthly report in which he compiles cases of rights violations and oppression against press members in Turkey.
 
Thirteen journalists were handed down prison sentences in February, while 24 were taken into custody, and five were imprisoned, the report highlighted. Announcing his report at a press conference at the Parliament, Yarkadaş said he dedicated the report to Ján Kuciak, a young Slovak reporter who was shot to death on February 26 because of his reporting that focused on tax evasion in Slovakia.
 
Yarkadaş also added that books written by journalists and writers Ahmet Altan, Nurcan Baysal and İsmail Saymaz were banned in Turkey’s prisons in the month of February, which also saw a total of 120 press members -- from newspaper distributors to reporters -- appear before courts.
 
Ahmet Altan handed down yet another prison sentence
 
Journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan was found guilty of “insulting the president” and “terrorism propaganda” and sentenced to 5 years and 11 months in prison on February 28, 2018, at the final hearing of a case in which the accusations were based on a column the novelist and former editor-in-chief of the Taraf newspaper wrote in 2016.
 
A detailed report about the hearing, monitored by P24 in the courtroom, can be found here.
 
Prosecutor requests 13 years in prison for Hayatın Sesi executives
 
The third hearing of a case in which three executives of the shuttered television station Hayatın Sesi -- Gökhan Çetin, İsmail Gökhan Bayram and Mustafa Kara -- stand accused of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” was held on March 1 at the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
 
The prosecutor submitted his final opinion during the hearing, requesting up to 13 years in prison for “collectively conducting continued propaganda for a terrorist organization” for each of the three executives of the channel, which was closed down in September 2016 through a statutory decree.
 
The case is based on the allegation that the channel “conducted propaganda for the Islamic State (ISIS), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) organizations,” simultaneously. The accusation is based on five broadcasts in 2015 and 2016.
 
The court adjourned the trial to April 24 for the final defense statements to be prepared.
 
JinNews reporter Durket Süren detained in Diyarbakır
 
Durket Süren, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish feminist online news outlet JinNews, was taken into custody by police on March 1 in Lice, a district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
 
Süren was detained on grounds of a search warrant against her. She was taken to the local police department, from where she was expected to be transferred to the Diyarbakır Police Department.
 
Access to Ahval news portal banned
 
Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) banned access to the website of Ahval, an online news portal, as of February 28. Ahval announced via its Twitter account that the ban was arbitrary, and that it would launch a legal process shortly to have the blockage lifted.
 
TRT employee dismissed for criticizing 2017 referendum reinstated
 
Binali Erdoğan, the former chief cameraman for the İzmir branch of the state broadcaster TRT, who was initially dismissed by the TRT and later imprisoned on account of his critical comments on social media concerning Turkey’s 2017 referendum, was reinstated on March 1 in accordance with a court order.
 
Following his dismissal from the TRT, Erdoğan, who is also an executive of the trade union Haber-Sen, was imprisoned in October 2017 on the charge of “insulting the president” via his social media posts. He was released pending trial 32 days later, after the court accepted an objection filed by Haber-Sen lawyers.
 
An Izmir court held on January 17 that Erdoğan’s dismissal from civil service was unlawful and ruled for the journalist to be reinstated.
 
The trial in which Erdoğan stands accused of “insulting the president,” in the meantime, is still underway at the 25th Criminal Court of First Instance in Izmir. During the latest hearing of that case on February 2, Erdoğan gave his defense statement, in which he rejected the accusations. The court ruled at the end of the hearing that Erdoğan’s social media posts are examined by an IT expert to determine whether or not they had been posted by the suspect, and adjourned the trial to May 3.
 
Court issues decision of non-jurisdiction in Hüsnü Mahalli trial
 
An Istanbul court overseeing a case in which journalist Hüsnü Mahalli stands accused of “insulting the president” and “insulting a public officer due to the performance of his public duty” issued a decision of non-jurisdiction during the third hearing of the trial on March 1.
 
The accusations against Mahalli stem from his comments in his Twitter posts and the remarks he made on a television program on Halk TV. The journalist faces up to seven years and four months in prison if convicted.
 
Mahalli gave his defense statement during the March 1 hearing, in which he rejected the accusations and said that as a journalist, the opinions he expressed were based on public comments by politicians. Mahalli requested his acquittal.
 
The court ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the case, stating that the case was within the jurisdiction of the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, the court that has jurisdiction over press offenses.
 
Journalists Union protests Cumhuriyet for firing workplace rep
 
The Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) held a demonstration in front of the Cumhuriyet newspaper’s head office in Istanbul on February 28 in protest of the laying off of reporter Deniz Ülkütekin, the union’s workplace representative in Cumhuriyet.
 
Reading a statement during the demonstration, the union’s Secretary-General Mustafa Kuleli said they expected Ülkütekin, who the union claims was laid off without just cause, to be restored to his position.
 
Kuleli said: “Our workplace representative was initially sent on 138 days of mandatory leave. Upon his return, he was prevented from producing content for the newspaper as a reporter. Four our workplace representative, who was voted on by the Cumhuriyet employees, to be laid off without cause in spite of what the president of the Cumhuriyet Foundation, Orhan Erinç, had promised, is unacceptable.”
 
 
List of journalists imprisoned in Turkey
 
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              Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
34              Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
35              Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
36              Cuma Kaya, Zaman
37              Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
38              Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
39              Çetin Kurşun, Azadiya Welat
40              Emin Demir, Freelancer
41              Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
42              Ercan Gün, Fox TV
43              Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
44              Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
45              Erdoğan Alayumat, Dihaber reporter
46              Erol Yüksel (TRT News Department vice president))
47              Erol Zavar, Odak magazine, owner and newsroom director
48              Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
49              Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
50              Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
51              Fevzi Yazıcı
52              Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türk Solu columnist
53              Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
54              Gültekin Avcı
55              Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
56              Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
57              Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
58              Hakan Taşdelen
59              Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
60              Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
61              Hamza Günerigök, TRT
62              Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
63              Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
64              Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper’s owner and managing editor
65              Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
66              Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
67              Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
68              Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
69              Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
70              Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
71              İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
72              İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
73              İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
74              İdris Yılmaz
75              İshak Karakaş, Halkın Nabzı editor in chief
76              İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
77              İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
78              İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
79              Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
80              Kemal Demir, TV 10
81              Kemal Özer, Evrensel
82              Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
83              Mehmet Ali Ay
84              Mehmet Altan
85              Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
86              Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
87              Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
88              Mehmet Gündem
89              Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
90              Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
91              Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
92              Mete Cem Bahtiyar, former BirGün reporter
93              Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
94              Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
95              Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
96              Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
97              Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
98              Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
99              Murat Çapan, Nokta
100            Murat Dağdeviren (Demokrat Gebze owner)
101            Murat Sabuncu, Editor-in- Chief
102            Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor,
103            Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
104            Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
105            Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
106            Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
107            Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
108            Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız (local) Editor-in-Chief
109            Nedim Türfent,DİHA
110            Nizamettin İzgi (Batman Newspaper’s owner)
111            Nuh Gönültaş
112            Nuri Durna, TRT
113            Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
114            Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
115            Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
116            Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
117            Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
118            Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
119            Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
120            Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
121            Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
122            Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
123            Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
124            Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
125            Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
126            Seda Taşkın, Mesopotamia News Agency reporter
127            Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
128            Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
129            Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
130            Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
131            Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
132            Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
133            Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
134            Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
135            Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
136            Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
137            Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
138            Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
139            Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
140            Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
141            Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
142            Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
143            Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
144            Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
145            Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
146            Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
147            Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
148            Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
149            Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
150            Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
151            Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
152            Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
153            Zafer Özsoy
154            Zehra Doğan, Jinha
155            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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