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03 June

Journalists in State of Emergency - 143

Çağdaş Kaplan handed down 6-year prison sentence in long-running case; Hayri Demir convicted for his social media posts

 
A court in Sakarya on May 31 sentenced journalist Çağdaş Kaplan to 6 years and 3 months in prison for “membership in a terrorist organization.” Kaplan, who recently became the founding editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Yeni Yaşam, launched earlier in May, was also handed down a travel ban pending the appeal process.
 
A report about the hearing, monitored by P24, can be accessed here.
 
Court lifts Çağdaş Erdoğan’s travel ban
 
Photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan on June 1 appeared before an Istanbul court for the second hearing of a trial in which he stands accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization,” facing up to 22.5 years in prison.
 
P24 monitored the hearing at the 33rd High Criminal court of Istanbul.
 
Addressing the court during the hearing, Erdoğan said he was not linked with any terrorist group, adding that he believed he would be acquitted of the charges eventually. “I have four upcoming exhibitions abroad in the next couple of months,” Erdoğan said, requesting the court to lift the travel ban imposed on him as a judicial control measure.
 
The court ruled for the lifting of the travel ban imposed on Erdoğan and exempted him from attending the hearings. The trial was adjourned until November 2, 2018.
 
Erdoğan was arrested on September 2, 2017, while taking photos in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district. Accused of photographing a social facility for the employees of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Erdoğan was imprisoned 11 days later. He remained in detention on remand for more than 5 months before the trial court ruled for his release at the end of his first hearing on February 13, 2018.
 
 
Journalists to appear in court for publishing Afrin statement
 
A prosecutor in the Aegean town of Didim is pressing charges against three local journalists for reporting on an anti-war press statement. The statement by representatives from the local branch of Turkey’s Labour Party (EMEP) was about Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin.
 
Mustafa Öge, the owner of the local newspaper Didim Özgürses, Ergün Korkmaz, who owns the newspaper Mavi Didim, and Erdem Özden, an employee for Mavi Didim, as well as the district chair of EMEP, Kazım Temiz, are indicted for “inciting the public” and are set to appear before a Didim court on June 22 for the first hearing of their case.
 
 
Yusuf Karataş trial adjourned until November
 
Yusuf Karataş, a columnist for Evrensel daily, on May 30 appeared in the third hearing of a trial against him at the 9th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır. The trial is one of many such cases that were opened on account of audio recordings of speeches delivered by participants during Democratic Society Congress (DTK) meetings.
 
Karataş was arrested and jailed in July 2017 as part of the investigation into DTK and was released pending trial on September 22. Karataş faces up to 22.5 years in prison on charges of “establishing and leading a terrorist group.”
 
Karataş and his lawyer were in attendance at the May 30 hearing, monitored by P24. Karataş demanded that the judicial control measure imposed on him be lifted. The court rejected Karataş’s request but ruled to reduce the judicial control from once every 15 days to once a month, and adjourned the trial until November 21, 2018.
 
 
Sözcü trial adjourned 
 
The third hearing of the Sözcü trial, in which four executives and reporters of the daily stand accused of terrorism-related charges, was held on May 30 at the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.
 
Sözcü’s web editor Mediha Olgun, Financial Affairs Manager Yonca Yücekaleli, İzmir correspondent Gökmen Ulu and owner Burak Akbay are indicted in the case. Akbay is accused of “leading an armed terror organization,” while the other three are accused of “aiding the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ] while not being its members.” An arrest warrant has been issued for Akbay, who is abroad.
 
None of the defendants were in attendance at the May 30 hearing, monitored by P24 and representatives from the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS).
 
Akbay’s lawyer Celal Ülgen requested for additional time for defense statements during the hearing. Lawyers also requested for the travel bans imposed on Ulu and Olgun to be lifted and the lifting of the arrest warrant for Akbay. The 37th High Criminal Court of Istanbul rejected the requests and adjourned the trial until November 7, 2018, awaiting the execution of the arrest warrant for Akbay.
 
The accusations in the indictment mostly owe to a news report uploaded on the newspaper’s website on the day of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, showing that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was holidaying in Marmaris. The prosecutor claimed Sözcü had assisted putschists locate the president.
 
 
Hayri Demir handed down prison sentence for social media posts
 
A court in Diyarbakır on May 29 convicted Hayri Demir of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” on social media, handing down the journalist a suspended prison sentence of 1 year, 6 months and 22 days.
 
Demir did not attend the hearing at the 5th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır, which issued its verdict despite the fact that Demir’s lawyers had yet to make their final defense statement.
The court deemed four Facebook posts by Demir about slain journalists as “propaganda” material, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.
 
 
Ali Ergin Demirhan briefly detained in Istanbul 
 
Sendika.org editor Ali Ergin Demirhan was taken into custody by the police on May 28 on grounds that he “conducted terrorism propaganda.” The accusation was based on content featured on the website Sendika.org, including an article headlined “We can stop the dictatorship” and cartoons by Carlos Latuff, as well as Demirhan’s social media posts. Demirhan was released the same day following his statement before the prosecutor at the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.
 
 
Other freedom of expression cases of the past week
 
  • On May 29, Çayan Demirel and Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, the co-directors of the documentary Bakur (North), appeared before a Batman court for the first hearing of the case in which they stand accused of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” in the movie. The 2015 documentary is about the PKK’s withdrawal during the “Peace Process.” During the hearing, monitored by P24 and Susma, Rozerin Seda Kip, the lawyer representing Demirel and Mavioğlu, submitted to the 2nd High Criminal Court of Batman an expert opinion issued by the London-based NGO Article 19 concerning the case. The lawyer also requested for Demirel and Mavioğlu to be exempted from attending the hearings. The court accepted the request and adjourned the trial until October 23, 2018.
 
  • A Turkish court this week convicted stage actor Cenk Dost Verdi of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization,” and handed down the actor a prison sentence of 2.5 years on account of his social media posts. Verdi was indicted based on a criminal investigation that had been launched following a complaint. Announcing the ruling against him on his social media account, Verdi said the verdict could only be appealed at a regional court due to the ongoing state of emergency.
 
  • Police in Ankara took 10 individuals into custody during early morning raids on June 1 on the charge of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” in their social media posts. Zeyno Bayramoğlu, a politician from the Ankara branch of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) was among those detained. The operation is part of a criminal investigation launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and arrest warrants have been issued for 11 people.
 
 
P24 updates list of jailed journalists
 
P24 has updated its list of jailed journalists and media workers, a list compiled from open sources using information available to the general public.
 
It has recently become evident that former TRT employees Cumali Çaygeç and Sezai Yavaş, and former Bugün newspaper reporters Hasan Bozkurt and Metin Arslan have been in pretrial detention as part of ongoing journalist trials in various courts in Ankara. In light of this new information, as of June 1, 2018, there are at least 178 journalists and media workers in Turkey’s prisons either in pretrial detention or serving a sentence.
 
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 Çaygeç, TRT Şeş news director
36              Cumali Öz, Gün Matbaacılık employee
37              Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
38              Çetin Kurşun, Azadiya Welat
39              Emin Demir, freelancer
40              Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
41              Ercan Gün, Fox TV
42              Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
43              Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
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 Bzokurt, Bugün reporter
65              Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
66              Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper owner and managing editor
67              Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
68              Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
69              Hicran Ürün, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
70              Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group president
71              Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
72              İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
73              İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
74              İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
75              İdris Yılmaz
76              İhsan Sinmiş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
77              İhsan Yaşar, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi owner
78              İrfan Karaca, Gün Matbaacılık employee
79              İshak Yasul, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi responsible managing editor
80              İsmail Çoban, former Azadiya Welat managing editor
81              İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
82              İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
83              Kamuran Sunbat, former DİHA Çukurova reporter
84              Kasım Zengin, owner of Gün Matbaacılık
85              Kazım Canlan, Cihan news agency Ankara news director
86              Kazım Göçer, Gün Matbaacılık employee
87              Kemal Daşdöğen, Gün Matbaacılık employee
88              Kemal Demir, TV 10
89              Kemal Özer, Evrensel
90              Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
91              Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
92              Kubilay Çelik, Antropolog magazine responsible managing editor
93              Mahmut Abay, Gün Matbaacılık employee
94              Mehmet Ali Ay
95              Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
96              Mehmet Altan
97              Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
98              Mehmet Dursun
99              Mehmet Emin Sümeli, Gün Matbaacılık employee
100            Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
101            Mehmet Gündem
102            Mehmet Kadir Özkara, Gün Matbaacılık employee
103            Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
104            Mehmet Sıddık damar, DİHA
105            Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
106            Metin Arslan, Bugün reporter
107            Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
108            Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM broadcast coordinator
109            Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ
110            Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, owner of Subuhaber.com
111            Muhammet Özkan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
112            Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
113            Murat Çapan, Nokta
114            Murat Dağdeviren, Demokrat Gebze owner
115            Musa Kaya, Gün Matbaacılık employee
116            Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor
117            Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
118            Mustafa Göktaş, Özgür Gündem Şanlıurfa reporter
119            Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
120            Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
121            Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
122            Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
123            Mürsel Demir, Gün Matbaacılık employee
124            Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız local newspaper editor-in-chief
125            Necat Hizarcı, Gün Matbaacılık employee
126            Nedim Türfent, DİHA
127            Nizamettin İzgi, Batman newspaper owner
128            Nuh Gönültaş, Bugün columnist
129            Nuri Durna, TRT
130            Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
131            Nurullah Kaya, Gaziantep Zaman representative
132            Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
133            Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
134            Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
135            Özcan Keser, TRT reporter
136            Özgür Bozkurt, Gün Matbaacılık employee
137            Pınar Gayıp, ETHA reporter
138            Pınar Tarlak, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
139            Polat Arslan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
140            Reyhan Çapan, Özgür Gündem managing editor
141            Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
142            Sadettin Demirtaş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
143            Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ
144            Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
145            Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ
146            Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine managing editor
147            Seda Taşkın, Mezopotamya News Agency reporter
148            Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter/distributor
149            Semiha Şahin, ETHA editor
150            Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
151            Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
152            Serpil Ünal, Mücadele Birliği reporter
153            Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
154            Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
155            Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
156            Sezai Yavaş, TRT Diyarbakır deputy regional director
157            Songül Yücel, Önsöz editor in chief
158            Süleyman Acar, Mücadele Birliği editor in chief
159            Süleyman Güneş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
160            Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
161            Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
162            Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
163            Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
164            Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
165            Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
166            Uğur Selman Kelekçiler, Gün Matbaacılık employee
167            Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
168            Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
169            Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
170            Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
171            Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
172            Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
173            Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
174            Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
175            Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
176            Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
177            Zehra Doğan, Jinha
178            Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter

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