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12 May

Journalists in State of Emergency - 140

Özgür Gündem publisher and editor jailed; Court lifts Şahin Alpay’s house arrest, releases 2 journalists from pretrial detention in “Zaman trial”

Two Turkish courts on May 11 jailed Kemal Sancılı, the owner of the publishing rights of the shuttered pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem, and the newspaper’s Managing Editor Reyhan Çapan.
Mezopotamya news agency reported on Friday that Sancılı was arrested two days ago in İpsala, a district of the western province of Edirne. He was brought before a judge at the İpsala Courthouse on May 11, where he was jailed and sent to the Silivri Prison. No further information was available as of May 12 on the grounds for his detention.
Çapan, on the other hand, was taken into custody on May 10 in Hopa, a district of the Black Sea city of Artvin, on grounds of an arrest warrant. She appeared before a judge on May 11 at the Artivn Courthouse. The judge jailed Çapan and ruled for her to be sent to the Artvin Prison, from where she was to be transferred to the Sivas Women’s Prison.
Reports said Çapan was imprisoned to serve a 15-month sentence which was handed down by an Istanbul court and upheld by a regional administrative court. Numerous legal fines Çapan was handed down by various courts had also been commissioned to prison sentences, reports said.
Two journalists released, Alpay’s house arrest lifted in Zaman trial
The fourth hearing in the trial into 11 former columnists and editors of the shuttered Zaman daily was held on May 10 and 11 at the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul. In its interim decision at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to release columnist Ali Bulaç and Zaman’s former Responsible Managing Editor Mehmet Özdemir from pretrial detention, while ordering the lifting of Şahin Alpay’s house arrest. The court set June 7 and 8 as the dates for the next hearing.
A detailed report on the two-day hearing, monitored by P24, can be found here.
Also on May 10, Ali Ünal, another former Zaman columnist, appeared before a court in the western province of Uşak for the third hearing of a case where he faces aggravated life sentence and up to 29.5 years in prison on “coup” and “terrorism” charges. The Uşak 2nd High Criminal Court ordered the continuation of Ünal’s detention on remand and adjourned the trial until July 18,  2018.
For a detailed report on the hearing, also monitored by P24, click here.
Şerife Oruç remains behind bars after 5th hearing
The fifth hearing of a trial in which journalist Şerife Oruç faces terrorism-related charges based on witness testimony against her was held on May 8 at the 2nd High Criminal Court of Batman. The court ordered for the witnesses to be brought to court by force and the continuation of the pretrial detention of Oruç and the other suspects, setting July 9, 2018, as the date for the next hearing.
A report about the hearing, monitored by P24, can be found here.
İshak Karakaş released from pretrial detention at first hearing
İshak Karakaş, the editor-in-chief of local newspaper Halkın Nabzı and a contributor to the news website Artı Gerçek, was released from pretrial detention on May 8, 2018, at the end of the first hearing of his trial. The 28th High Criminal Court of Istanbul ruled to release Karakaş under judicial control measures. Karakaş had been in prison since late January, when he was arrested on account of his social media posts critical of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin.
To read more about the hearing, monitored by P24, click here.
Retrial of “MİT trucks case” against Can Dündar under way
The 14th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on May 7, began the retrial of Can Dündar, former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily, and Erdem Gül, the newspaper’s Ankara representative, in the case publicly known as the “MİT trucks case.”
The court had sentenced Dündar to 5 years and 10 months and Gül to 5 years in prison for “disclosing documents related to the security of the state” in relation with the publication of a news report about the Syria-bound National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks in Cumhuriyet’s May 29, 2015, edition.
In its review of that ruling in March, the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment, saying the verdict for Dündar should have been based on “espionage” charges and that Gül should have been acquitted.
Complying with the Supreme Court of Appeals ruling, the trial court started the retrial on May 7. Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ordered the separation of Erdem Gül’s file from this case and adjourned the trial until October 2, 2018, awaiting the result of an application filed by Turkish authorities to Belgium for Can Dündar’s extradition.
On May 9, the same court this time held the sixth hearing of another trial also based on the publication of the MİT trucks report, in which Dündar and Gül are co-defendants alongside Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Enis Berberoğlu.
Dündar, Gül and the imprisoned Berberoğlu are indicted for “knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization without being its member” in this case.
Berberoğlu and Gül appeared before the court at the hearing, where Dündar was represented by his lawyer.
Since a different chief judge was presiding over the panel during this hearing, Berberoğlu’s lawyers requested for the witnesses in favor to be heard at a later session. Accepting the lawyers’ request, the court adjourned the trial until July 18, 2018.
Özgür Gündem trials postponed until July
The seventh hearing of the trial against nine former editors and columnists of the shuttered pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem was held on May 7 at the 14th High Criminal Court of Istanbul. The newspaper’s former co-editors-in-chief Eren Keskin and Hüseyin Aykol, editors Reyhan Çapan, Filiz Koçali, lawyers Ayşe Batumlu, Nuray Özdoğan, writer Ayşe Berktay, spokesperson of The ’78ers Initiative, Celalettin Can, and Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor Reyhan Hacıoğlu are standing trial on “propaganda” charges in the case.
Addressing the court, Keskin requested additional time for here defense statement, while her lawyer requested for the investigations to be expanded. The court accepted the requests and adjourned the trial until July 9, 2018.
The same day, the 14th High Criminal Court of Istanbul also held the seventh hearing of the trial into journalists who joined in a solidarity campaign for Özgür Gündem.
Submitting his final opinion during that hearing, the prosecutor requested prison sentences for 11 journalists standing trial in the case on the charge of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
P24 monitored both hearings in the courtroom. To read more about the first hearing, click here. A report about the second hearing can be found here.
Former Dihaber reporter Gökhan Öner jailed pending trial
Gökhan Öner, a former reporter for the shuttered Dihaber news agency, was jailed pending trial on May 5 by a court in Denizli.
Öner was taken into custody on April 28 during police raids in Denizli. After testifying before a prosecutor on May 5 at the Denizli Courthouse, Öner was referred to court for detention on the charge of “membership in a terrorist group.” A Criminal Judgeship of Peace ruled to jail Öner pending trial.
Reports said accusations against Öner were based on news stories he penned for Dihaber that were found on his computer, and a complaint filed about the journalist.
Other freedom of expression cases of the past week
An Istanbul court on May 10 jailed one more Boğaziçi University student pending trial on the charge of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The student was sent to the Silivri Prison. The latest development brought the number of Boğaziçi students jailed for taking part in an anti-war protest on campus to 14. 

On May 10, three Istanbul courts heard the cases of four academics indicted for “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” for signing a 2016 declaration by the Academics for Peace initiative. The Appearing before the 37th High Criminal Court of Istanbul for the first hearing of his trial, Dr. Bülent Eken rejected the accusations and requested his acquittal. The court postponed the trial to October 4. The 27th High Criminal Court adjourned Assistant Professor Murat Koyuncu’s trial to October 16 because Koyuncu was abroad. Assistant Professor Çağla Diner and Professor Neşe Yıldıran appeared before the 35th High Criminal Court for the second hearings of their trials, which the court adjourned until September 11 and October 2, respectively. 

A new indictment issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor accuses 11 opposition politicians of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” and “openly inciting the public to hatred and animosity” for their public statements critical of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin. Professor Onur Hamzaoğlu, the co-spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK), Serpil Kemalbay, the former co-chairperson of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Musa Piroğlu, the chairman of the Revolutionary Party are among the politicians named as suspects in the indictment, which seeks up to 8 years in prison for each. Some books found in Hamzaoğlu’s apartment are held as evidence against him in the indictment. 
Upcoming journalist trials this month
Following is a brief overview of some of the major ongoing journalist trials in Turkey, selected from a comprehensive list compiled by P24. For further information on upcoming journalist trials in Turkey, visit this regularly updated webpage.
Cumhuriyet reporter Ahmet Şık will appear before the 17th Criminal Court of First Instance on May 22 for the third hearing of a case in which he is indicted for “openly denigrating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs and its military and police,” facing a prison sentence between 6 months and 2 years. 

Imprisoned journalist Nazlı Ilıcak will appeare before the 26th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on May 23 for the second hearing of a trial in which she is facing life imprisonment on “espionage” charges on account of a newspaper column she wrote in 2015. 

Also on May 23, Erdoğan Alayumat and Nuri Akman, two reporters for the shuttered Dihaber news agency, are set to appear before the 2nd High Criminal court of Hatay for the third hearing of their trial in which both face up to 45 years in prison on “espionage” and “membership in a terrorist organization” charges. Alayumat has been in detention on remand since July 2017 as part of this case. 
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 Ali Bulaç, Mehmet Özdemir and İshak Karakaş’s release and the imprisonment of Kemal Sancılı, Reyhan Çapan and Gökhan Öner, during the past seven days, there are at least 174 journalists and media workers either in pretrial detention or serving prison sentences in Turkey’s prisons as of May 11, 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
11              Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
12              Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
13              Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
14              Ali Akkuş, Zaman
15              Ali Aşikar, Azadiya Welat
16              Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
17              Ali Sönmez Kayar, ETHA reporter
18              Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
19              Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
20              Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
21              Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
22              Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
23              Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
24              Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
25              Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
26              Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
27              Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
28              Behram Kılıç
29              Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
30              Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
31              Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
32              Cemal Tunç, Gün Matbaacılık employee
33              Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
34              Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
35              Cumali Öz, Gün Matbaacılık employee
36              Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
37              Çetin Kurşun, Azadiya Welat
38              Emin Demir, freelancer
39              Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
40              Ercan Gün, Fox TV
41              Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
42              Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
43              Erdoğan Alayumat, Dihaber reporter
44              Erdoğan Zamur, Gün Matbaacılık employee
45              Erol Yüksel, TRT News Department vice president
46              Erol Zavar, Odak magazine owner and newsroom director
47              Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
48              Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
49              Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
50              Ferhat Parlak, Silvan Mücadele newspaper owner
51              Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman chief designer
52              Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
53              Gökhan Öner, former Dihaber reporter
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 owner and managing editor
66              Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
67              Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
68              Hicran Ürün, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
69              Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group president
70              Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
71              İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
72              İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
73              İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
74              İdris Yılmaz
75              İhsan Sinmiş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
76              İhsan Yaşar, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi owner
77              İrfan Karaca, Gün Matbaacılık employee
78              İshak Yasul, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi responsible managing editor
79              İsmail Çoban, former Azadiya Welat managing editor
80              İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
81              İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
82              Kamuran Sunbat, former DİHA Çukurova reporter
83              Kasım Zengin, owner of Gün Matbaacılık
84              Kazım Göçer, Gün Matbaacılık employee
85              Kemal Daşdöğen, Gün Matbaacılık employee
86              Kemal Demir, TV 10
87              Kemal Özer, Evrensel
88              Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
89              Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
90              Kubilay Çelik, Antropolog magazine responsible managing editor
91              Mahmut Abay, Gün Matbaacılık employee
92              Mehmet Ali Ay
93              Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
94              Mehmet Altan
95              Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
96              Mehmet Dursun
97              Mehmet Emin Sümeli, Gün Matbaacılık employee
98              Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
99              Mehmet Gündem
100            Mehmet Kadir Özkara, Gün Matbaacılık employee
101            Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
102            Mehmet Sıddık damar, DİHA
103            Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
104            Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
105            Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM broadcast coordinator
106            Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ
107            Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, owner of Subuhaber.com
108            Muhammet Özkan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
109            Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
110            Murat Çapan, Nokta
111            Murat Dağdeviren, Demokrat Gebze owner
112            Musa Kaya, Gün Matbaacılık employee
113            Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor
114            Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
115            Mustafa Göktaş, Özgür Gündem Şanlıurfa reporter
116            Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
117            Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
118            Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
119            Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
120            Mürsel Demir, Gün Matbaacılık employee
121            Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız local newspaper editor-in-chief
122            Necat Hizarcı, Gün Matbaacılık employee
123            Nedim Türfent, DİHA
124            Nizamettin İzgi, Batman newspaper owner
125            Nuh Gönültaş, Bugün columnist
126            Nuri Durna, TRT
127            Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
128            Nurullah Kaya, Gaziantep Zaman representative
129            Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
130            Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
131            Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
132            Özcan Keser, TRT reporter
133            Özgür Bozkurt, Gün Matbaacılık employee
134            Pınar Gayıp, ETHA reporter
135            Pınar Tarlak, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
136            Polat Arslan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
137            Reyhan Çapan, Özgür Gündem managing editor
138            Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
139            Sadettin Demirtaş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
140            Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ
141            Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
142            Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ
143            Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine managing editor
144            Seda Taşkın, Mezopotamya News Agency reporter
145            Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter/distributor
146            Semiha Şahin, ETHA editor
147            Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
148            Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
149            Serpil Ünal, Mücadele Birliği reporter
150            Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
151            Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
152            Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
153            Songül Yücel, Önsöz editor in chief
154            Süleyman Acar, Mücadele Birliği editor in chief
155            Süleyman Güneş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
156            Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
157            Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
158            Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
159            Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
160            Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
161            Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
162            Uğur Selman Kelekçiler, Gün Matbaacılık employee
163            Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
164            Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
165            Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
166            Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
167            Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
168            Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
169            Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
170            Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
171            Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
172            Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
173            Zehra Doğan, Jinha
174            Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter


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