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22 March

Journalists in State of Emergency – 129

Turkey’s largest media group, Doğan Media, to be sold to pro-government conglomerate

Doğan Media Group, Turkey’s largest media group, which comprises of newspapers and television channels including Hürriyet and CNN Türk, is to be sold to a pro-government company.
Doğan Holding confirmed in a statement on 22 March that talks had begun on the sale of Doğan Media Group to the Demirören Group of businessman Erdoğan Demirören for around $1 billion. The takeover plan was first reported by T24 news website on 21 March.
The Doğan Media Group own the newspapers Hürriyet and Posta, and two of Turkey’s main entertainment and news channels, Kanal D and CNN Türk. The CNN Türk and Hürriyet, while in no way anti-government, had been regarded as holding a relatively independent editorial line in recent years.
ECtHR: Journalists Altan and Alpay’s rights violated
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced on 20 March its long-awaited judgments on applications filed on behalf of Turkish journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, who were imprisoned following a failed coup attempt in 2016.
The Strasbourg court found that there had been a violation of personal liberty and security under Article 5/1 of the European Convention of Human Rights and of freedom of expression under Article 10. The court also ordered Turkey to pay 21,500 euros to each journalist in non-pecuniary damages.
A more detailed report on the judgments can be accessed here.
“RedHack case” adjourned until September
Trial of six journalists who face terrorism and other charges for reporting on e-mails of Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak leaked by a group that calls itself RedHack continued on 20 March at the Istanbul 29th High Criminal Court.
The session, followed by P24 from inside the courtroom, was attended by former Diken news portal editor Tunca Öğreten, BirGün newspaper employee Mahir Kanaat and ETHA news agency Responsible Editor Derya Okatan. Three other defendants, the shuttered Dicle news agency (DİHA) news editor Ömer Çelik, DİHA reporter Metin Yoksu and Yolculuk newspaper Managing Editor Eray Sargın did not attend.
Announcing its interim ruling at the end of the brief session, the court decided to keep an international travel ban on all six defendants in place, while lifting a judicial control measure under which Öğreten and Kanaat had been required to regularly report to a police station.
Noting that an expert report on digital materials seized from the defendants is yet to arrive, the court decided to wait for the report and adjourn the trial until 13 September 2018.
Journalists Ömer Çelik, Derya Okatan, Metin Yoksu and Eray Sargın are charged with “terrorism propaganda” and “preventing an IT system, distorting it, changing or destroying data” as part of the case, while Mahir Kanaat is accused of “membership in a terrorist group” and “preventing an IT system, distorting it, changing or destroying data.”
Tunca Öğreten, on the other hand, faces the charge of “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member,” in addition to the cyber crime charges.
JinNews reporter detained in pre-Newroz raids
Scores of people, including JinNews news agency reporter Duygu Erol, were detained on 20 March in a series of police operations across Turkey on the eve of Newroz celebrations on 21 March.
Erol was detained during a series of coordinated house raids in Ankara. Others detained in the raids included a local executive of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
News reports said an arrest warrant was also released against Mezopotamya Agency reporter Selami Aslan as part of the same operations.
Those detained were reportedly targeted because of their social media posts and informant tips that they are preparing to “stir unrest.”
On 21 March, two local reporters, Mehmet Uğur Çakıl of Yenigün newspaper and Arif Bulut of Tigris Haber newspaper, were detained while covering a Newroz rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. The two journalists were released later in the day.
Erdoğan’s lawyer joins “insult” case against Ahmet Altan
Journalist and writer Ahmet Altan appeared before an Istanbul court on 20 March at the latest hearing in a case where he stands accused of “insulting the president” in an article published in 2016, titled “The New Ergenekon.”
Altan, who was given aggravated life sentence for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” at the end of a separate trial on 16 February, attended the hearing via court videoconferencing system SEGBİS.
During the hearing, followed by P24 from inside the courtroom, the attorney representing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that the Presidency’s complaint against Altan is still in effect and requested to join the case as a plaintiff.
The Istanbul 30th Criminal Court of First Instance agreed to allow Erdoğan’s lawyer to join the case, disregarding Altan’s plea that the request should be rejected. The court adjourned the trial until 21 June.
Mezopotamya Agency reporter detained in Diyarbakır
Mezopotamya Agency reporter Esra Solin Dal was detained during a police raid at her home in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar district on 20 March following a tip-off.
Police seized Dal’s camera during the raid. Dal was taken to the Diyarbakır Police Department’s anti-terror unit for interrogation. 

Dal was released without being charged after giving her statement to the police on 22 March. 

14th hearing at Taraf MGK report trial
The 14th hearing in the trial of former Taraf reporter Mehmet Baransu and responsible managing editor Murat Şevki Çoban, who are accused of obtaining classified documents and exposing secret information pertaining to the security of state, was held on 21 March.
The Istanbul Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court is hearing the case which is related to a news report published in Taraf on November 28, 2013 titled “Decision to finish off Gülen was taken by MGK in 2004.” The story said the now-banned Fethullah Gülen network was listed as a threat in a National Security Council (MGK) meeting in that year.
The two journalists face between 26 to 52 years for a variety of charges, including divulging state secrets and exposing documents of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT).
The court adjourned the trial until 27 June to give time to Baransu, who said he wanted to give his defense statement in presence of a lawyer. Baransu’s lawyer had resigned from the case.
DİHA executives go on trial
Trial of two executives of the shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA) on the charge of “terrorist group membership” began on 22 March in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
DİHA’s former Executive Board Chairman Zekeriya Güzüpek and Responsible Managing Editor Dicle Müftüoğlu are on trial in connection with 20 reports published by DİHA in 2015. They each face up to 15 years in jail.
Güzüpek attended the first hearing, held at the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court, while Müftüoğlu did not appear on health grounds.
Presenting his defense statement at the hearing, Güzüpek rejected terrorism accusations and demanded his acquittal, saying the reports included in the case file fall under freedom of press.
The court agreed to issue an order to obligate Müftüoğlu’s appearance at the next session and adjourned the trial until 8 June.
Journalist İshak Karakaş to go on trial on May 8
The first hearing in the trial of journalist İshak Karakaş will be held on 8 May at the Istanbul 28th High Criminal Court.
Karakaş, editor-in-chief of the local daily Halkın Nabzı and a columnist for the news portal Artı Gerçek, was placed in pre-trial detention on 26 January over his social media posts on Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin. Karakaş is charged with “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
List of journalists in jail
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, Haberdar news website
9         Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
10       Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
11       Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
12       Akın Atalay, Cumhuriyet Foundation executive board chairman
13       Alaattin Güner, Cihan media director
14       Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
15       Ali Akkuş, Zaman
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, Zaman chief designer
52       Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu 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 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, Hakın Nabzı editor-in-chief
76       İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
77       İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
78       Kamuran Sunbat, former DİHA Çukurova reporter
79       Kemal Demir, TV 10
80       Kemal Özer, Evrensel
81       Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
82       Kubilay Çelik, Antropolog magazine responsible managing editor
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 broadcast coordinator
95       Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ
96       Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, owner of Subuhaber.com
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     Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor
103     Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
104     Mustafa Göktaş, Özgür Gündem Şanlıurfa reporter
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 newspaper editor-in-chief
110     Nedim Türfent, DİHA
111     Nizamettin İzgi, Batman newspaper owner
112     Nuh Gönültaş, Bugün columnist
113     Nuri Durna, TRT
114     Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
115     Nurullah Kaya, Gaziantep Zaman representative
116     Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
117     Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
118     Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
119     Özcan Keser, TRT reporter
120     Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
121     Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
122     Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
123     Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ
124     Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
125     Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ
126     Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine managing editor
127     Seda Taşkın, Mezopotamya News Agency reporter
128     Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter/distributor
129     Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
130     Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
131     Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
132     Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
133     Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
134     Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
135     Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
136     Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
137     Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
138     Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
139     Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
140     Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
141     Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
142     Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
143     Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
144     Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
145     Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
146     Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
147     Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
148     Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
149     Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
150     Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
151     Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
152     Zafer Özsoy
153     Zehra Doğan, Jinha
154     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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