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29 April

Journalists in State of Emergency - 138

“KCK press trial” adjourned again; 18 defendants separated from “Zaman trial” make final defense statements; at least 184 journalists behind bars

The 14th hearing of the “KCK Press trial,” in which 46 journalists face “membership in a terrorist group” and “leadership of a terrorist group” charges, was held on April 27, 2018, at the Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court.
Çağdaş Ulus, one of the 46 journalists standing trial in the case, as well as the journalists’ lawyers were present at the hearing. The lawyers requested the lifting of the travel bans imposed on the suspects, which the court rejected on grounds of the statutory decree nr. 667. The court adjourned the trial until September 7, 2018.
18 defendants separated from Zaman trial appear before court
Eighteen defendants whose files were separated from the ongoing trial into the columnists and employees of the shuttered Zaman newspaper appeared before the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on April 27. They began making their final defense statements in response to the accusations in the prosecutor’s final opinion, submitted during the previous hearing.
Eight of the defendants -- Hüseyin Turan, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Murat Avcıoğlu, Osman Nuri Arslan, Ahmet İrem, Zafer Özsoy, Alaattin Güner and Cuma Kaya -- gave their defense statements during Friday’s session. The lawyer representing defendant Osman Nuri Öztürk requested that his file is separated from this case, while the court decided to hear the statement of Şeref Yılmaz at a later session after his lawyer refused to address the court during Friday’s session on grounds of new evidence against him to have been presented through witness testimony.
The hearing will continue with more defense statements on Monday, April 30.
Ahmet Altan acquitted of “insulting the president” charge
On April 26, imprisoned novelist and journalist Ahmet Altan was acquitted of “insulting the president” at the end of the seventh and final hearing of a trial in which the accusation was based on his remarks in an interview he gave in April 2015 to the news website Grihat, headlined “Saraylarda oturabilmek için gencecik çocukları öldürüyorlar” (They’re killing children so that they can live in palaces).
To read more about the hearing, monitored in the courtroom by P24, click here.
Court maintains travel ban imposed on Meşale Tolu
The latest hearing in a case where Etkin news agency (ETHA) reporter and translator Meşale Tolu is standing trial alongside 26 others was held on April 26 at the 29th High Criminal Court of Istanbul. Tolu faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges. The court rejected the request to lift the travel ban imposed on some of the defendants in the case, including Tolu, and adjourned the trial until October 16.
A detailed report about the hearing can be found here.
Cumhuriyet journalists convicted of “aiding terrorist organization”
Fourteen columnists and executives of Cumhuriyet daily were convicted of “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member” at the final hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial on April 25, held at a courtroom inside the Silivri Prison compound. The 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul handed down prison sentences varying between 2.5 years and 7.5 years to 14 of the newspaper’s columnists and executives standing trial in the case, while acquitting three of the suspects and separating the files of two journalists from the case.
A detailed report about the hearing can be found here.
Journalist Erdoğan Alayumat remains behind bars in 2nd hearing
The second hearing of a case in which journalists Erdoğan Alayumat and Nuri Akman are standing trial on account of their reporting and news photography, risking up to 45 years in prison each on “espionage” and “membership in a terrorist organization” charges, was held on April 25 at the 2nd High Criminal court of Hatay.
Alayumat participated in the hearing via the courtroom video-conferencing system SEGBİS from the Samsun Bafra Prison, where he is currently in detention on remand.
Alayumat’s lawyer Tugay Bek told the court that the photographs taken by Alayumat, which the accusations leveled against the journalist are based on, were purely aimed as news photography.
In its interim ruling, the court adjourned the trial until May 23, awaiting the Turkish General Staff response to a writ in which the court inquired about the said photographs. The court also ordered the continuation of Alayumat’s pretrial detention.
İsmail Küçükkaya handed down suspended prison sentence
A Turkish court on April 25 handed down journalist İsmail Küçükkaya and his lawyer Fidel Okan prison sentences of 1 year, 4 months and 20 days each for “insulting a public official” and “degrading the organs and institutions of the state.” The case was based on a claim the journalist had voiced during a news program he hosted on Fox TV, in which he had said the husband of Turkey’s Minister of Family and Social Policy was a “ByLock user.” The court suspended both sentences.
Journalist Fuat Yaşar to stand trial for his social media posts
Fuat Yaşar, a Diyarbakır-based reporter for the news website 1HaberVar, will appear before the 9th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır in the coming months as part of a trial in which the accusations are based on the journalist’s social media posts.
Yaşar had given his statement to the anti-terror police on March 22 as part of an investigation launched following an anonymous complaint concerning the journalist’s social media posts. Based on an anonymous tip off, a public prosecutor had opened an investigation, accusing Yaşar of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
Hayatın Sesi TV “propaganda” trial adjourned until September
Three executives of the shuttered Hayatın Sesi TV station gave their defense statements before the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on April 24 at the fourth hearing of a trial in which they each face up to 13 years in prison on the charge of “conducting continuous propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The court adjourned the trial over the lawyers’ request for additional time and set September 19, 2018, as the date of the next hearing.
You can read more about the hearing, monitored in the courtroom by P24, here.
Former Zaman representative Çetinkaya freed over health issues
An Antalya court on April 24 sentenced Tuncer Çetinkaya, the former Antalya regional representative for the shuttered Zaman newspaper, to 7.5 years in prison for “membership in a terrorist organization.” Çetinkaya had been jailed pending trial as part of the case, based on an investigation into the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016. Çetinkaya was standing trial along with 13 other suspects. The court ruled to release Çetinkaya from detention under judicial control measures over health concerns.
Evrensel reporter Cansu Pişkin faces investigation over news story
Evrensel reporter Cansu Pişkin is facing a criminal investigation for a news report she penned concerning the prosecutor appointed to investigate the Boğaziçi University students who have been jailed over staging an anti-war demonstration.
The journalist is accused in the investigation file of “marking the identity of a state official assigned in fight against terrorism as a target.”
Pişkin reported in her story that the prosecutor assigned to the investigation concerning the Boğaziçi students on April 3, the day on which the students were referred to court, had claimed in a previous indictment that the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) was a political party “operating under the guidance of a terrorist group.”
Other freedom of expression cases of the week past  
A prosecutor on April 26 requested prison sentences for nine more academics who are standing trial on “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges for signing 2016’s Academics for Peace declaration. The prosecutor requested prison sentences for İbrahim Kaboğlu, Güven Gürkan Öztan, İpek Merçil, Oğuz Arıcı, Gülhan Türkay, Sinan Yıldırmaz, Taner Gören, Mehmet Rıza Türkay and Yücel Candemir at the second hearings of their respective trials overseen by the 36th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on Thursday. Lawyers representing the academics requested the extension of the investigations. The court rejected the requests and adjourned all nine trials until October 23, 2018.
Lütfiye Bozdağ and Feryal Delfin Saygılıgil, two more academics who also signed the Academics for Peace declaration, appeared at the first hearings of their respective trials on the same charge before the 37th High Criminal court of Istanbul, which rejected their lawyers’ requests to merge the cases and adjourned the trials to October 17, and 16.
Onur Kılıç, an Izmir-based politician from the left-wing Freedom and Solidarity
Party (ÖDP), was arrested during a police raid on his home on April 26 in Izmir. Kılıç was among a number of individuals taken into custody during the same operation. The grounds for their arrests were their social media posts.
P24 updates its list of jailed journalists and media workers
P24 has updated its list of jailed journalists and media workers, a list compiled from open sources using information available to the general public.
Following the latest developments in April, including Akın Atalay and Tuncer Çetinkaya’s recent releases under judicial control measures, and the jailing earlier this month of the owner of Gün Matbaacılık, Kasım Zengin, and 19 employees of the printing company as part of an investigation targeting the pro-Kurdish Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper, there are at least 184 journalists and media workers either in pretrial detention or serving prison sentences in Turkey’s prisons as of April 28, 2018.
The full list can be accessed here.
1       Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2       Abdullah Kaya, DİHA
3       Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
4       Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
5       Abdulvahap İş, freelance journalist
6       Adil Demirci, ETHA reporter
7       Ahmet Altan
8       Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt
9       Ahmet Memiş, Haberdar news website
10     Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
11     Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
12     Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
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     Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
25     Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
26     Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
27     Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
28     Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
29     Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
30     Behram Kılıç
31     Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
32     Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
33     Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
34     Cemal Tunç, Gün Matbaacılık employee
35     Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
36     Cuma Kaya, Zaman
37     Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
38     Cumali Öz, Gün Matbaacılık employee
39     Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
40     Çetin Kurşun, Azadiya Welat
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 Alayumat, Dihaber reporter
47     Erdoğan Zamur, Gün Matbaacılık employee
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     Ferhat Parlak, Silvan Mücadele newspaper owner
54     Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman chief designer
55     Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
56     Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
57     Gültekin Avcı
58     Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
59     Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
60     Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
61     Hakan Taşdelen
62     Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
63     Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
64     Hamza Günerigök, TRT
65     Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
66     Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
67     Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper owner and managing editor
68     Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
69     Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
70     Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
71     Hicran Ürün, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
72     Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group president
73     Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
74     Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
75     İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
76     İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
77     İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
78     İdris Yılmaz
79     İhsan Sinmiş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
80     İhsan Yaşar, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi owner
81     İrfan Karaca, Gün Matbaacılık employee
82     İshak Karakaş, Hakın Nabzı editor-in-chief
83     İshak Yasul, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi responsible managing editor
84     İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
85     İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
86     Kamuran Sunbat, former DİHA Çukurova reporter
87     Kasım Zengin, owner of Gün Matbaacılık
88     Kazım Göçer, Gün Matbaacılık employee
89     Kemal Daşdöğen, Gün Matbaacılık employee
90     Kemal Demir, TV 10
91     Kemal Özer, Evrensel
92     Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
93     Kubilay Çelik, Antropolog magazine responsible managing editor
94     Mahmut Abay, Gün Matbaacılık employee
95     Mehmet Ali Ay
96     Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
97     Mehmet Altan
98     Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
99     Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
100    Mehmet Dursun
101    Mehmet Emin Sümeli, Gün Matbaacılık employee
102    Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
103    Mehmet Gündem
104    Mehmet Kadir Özkara, Gün Matbaacılık employee
105    Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
106    Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
107    Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
108    Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
109    Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM broadcast coordinator
110    Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ
111    Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, owner of Subuhaber.com
112    Muhammet Özkan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
113    Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
114    Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
115    Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
116    Murat Çapan, Nokta
117    Murat Dağdeviren, Demokrat Gebze owner
118    Musa Kaya, Gün Matbaacılık employee
119    Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor
120    Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
121    Mustafa Göktaş, Özgür Gündem Şanlıurfa reporter
122    Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
123    Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
124    Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
125    Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
126    Mürsel Demir, Gün Matbaacılık employee
127    Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız local newspaper editor-in-chief
128    Necat Hizarcı, Gün Matbaacılık employee
129    Nedim Türfent, DİHA
130    Nizamettin İzgi, Batman newspaper owner
131    Nuh Gönültaş, Bugün columnist
132    Nuri Durna, TRT
133    Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
134    Nurullah Kaya, Gaziantep Zaman representative
135    Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
136    Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
137    Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
138    Özcan Keser, TRT reporter
139    Özgür Bozkurt, Gün Matbaacılık employee
140    Pınar Gayıp, ETHA reporter
141    Pınar Tarlak, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
142    Polat Arslan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
143    Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
144    Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
145    Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
146    Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
147    Sadettin Demirtaş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
148    Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ
149    Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
150    Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ
151    Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine managing editor
152    Seda Taşkın, Mezopotamya News Agency reporter
153    Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter/distributor
154    Semiha Şahin, ETHA editor
155    Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
156    Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
157    Serpil Ünal, Mücadele Birliği reporter
158    Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
159    Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
160    Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
161    Songül Yücel, Önsöz editor in chief
162    Süleyman Acar, Mücadele Birliği editor in chief
163    Süleyman Güneş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
164    Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
165    Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
166    Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
167    Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
168    Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
169    Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
170    Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
171    Uğur Selman Kelekçiler, Gün Matbaacılık employee
172    Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
173    Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
174    Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
175    Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
176    Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
177    Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
178    Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
179    Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
180    Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
181    Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
182    Zafer Özsoy
183    Zehra Doğan, Jinha
184    Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter


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