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15 July

Journalists in State of Emergency - 149

ETHA reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar remains behind bars; BirGün daily faces investigation for nightclub shooting coverage

 
Ali Sönmez Kayar, a reporter for the Etkin news agency (ETHA) who has been in pretrial detention since February, will remain in pretrial detention, an Istanbul court has ruled on July 13.
 
Kayar and seven other defendants, all indicted for “membership in a terrorist group,” appeared before the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul on July 13 for the first hearing of their trial. All eight are accused of membership in the MLKP (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party), each facing up to 15 years of imprisonment.
 
P24 monitored the hearing.
 
Addressing the court during the hearing, Kayar denied the accusations. He said excerpts from the news stories dispatched by the agency were used as evidence against him in the indictment.
 
Kayar also told the court that the marches, commemorations and funerals he had participated in could not be deemed criminal activity.
 
Kayar requested his release pending trial.
 
Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ordered the continuation of Kayar’s pretrial detention and set October 31, 2018, as the date of the next hearing.
 
 
BirGün faces investigation for coverage of deadly nightclub shooting
 
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the BirGün daily concerning its coverage of a deadly nightclub shooting on 2017 New Year’s Eve in Istanbul – an attack for which ISIS claimed responsibility. The investigation was launched following a complaint filed by an individual named only by the initials M.T., BirGün reported on July 12.
 
 
Serdar Altan convicted of “propaganda,” given suspended sentence 
 
A Diyarbakır court on July 13 found journalist Serdar Altan guilty of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” through his social media posts and handed down the journalist a suspended jail term of 1.5 years and 20 days.
 
The 9th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır deferred the sentence by five years. 
 
In his final opinion submitted during the hearing, the prosecutor demanded Altan’s imprisonment on grounds that two of Altan’s social media posts from 2015 featured photographs of YPG militants holding guns, and that these posts “ legitimized and praised the organization’s methods including force, violence or threats.”
 
 
Fuat Yaşar acquitted of “propaganda” charges
 
The 9th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır acquitted journalist Fuat Yaşar of the charges against him at the end of the first hearing of his trial on July 13.
 
Yaşar was charged with “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group” in his social media posts and was facing up to five years of imprisonment. One of his posts that formed the grounds for the accusation featured a photograph showing the journalist posing in front of an armored water cannon truck.
 
 
Journalist Mustafa Gökkılıç taken into custody
 
Mustafa Gökkılıç, a former reporter for Habertürk TV and the now defunct Radikal daily, was taken into custody on July 12 on grounds of an arrest warrant issued by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
 
Gökkılıç was among 24 people sought as part of an ongoing investigation concerning 2012’s “MİT crisis,” in which the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and several intelligence officials were summoned to testify in court.
 
Gökkılıç was arrested alongside five other individuals as part of the investigation.
 
JinNews office raided by police 
 
Police on July 12 raided the Diyarbakır offices of the feminist news outlet Jin News. Police initially came to the office around midnight but did not search the premises since there was no one inside. They later came back at around 4 a.m., this time breaking down the office door to search the office. The grounds for the search was not immediately available. Jin News said the computers in the office were confiscated by the police.
 
Şerife Oruç arrested during release from prison
 
Former Dicle news agency (DİHA) reporter Şerife Oruç was arrested on July 9 as she was being released from the Elazığ Prison pending the conclusion of her ongoing trial. Oruç was released from custody one day later, on Tuesday, when the trial court lifted an earlier arrest warrant that had still been in place. Charged with “membership in a terrorist organization,” Oruç faces up to 15 years of imprisonment.
 
For further details about Oruç’s release, click here.
 
 
Canan Coşkun to give defense statement on July 19
 
Cumhuriyet reporter Canan Coşkun on July 10 appeared before the 26th High Criminal Court of Istanbul for the second hearing of a case in which she is indicted for her September 2017 report “Nuriye ve Semih’in 14 avukatı tutuklandı” (“14 lawyers representing Nuriye and Semih arrested”).
 
P24 monitored the hearing during which the prosecutor submitted his final opinion of the case. The prosecutor demanded up to three years of imprisonment for Coşkun on grounds that she “jeopardized the trial and exposed the witness in the case and his family” in her report.
 
The court adjourned the trial until July 19 for Coşkun to prepare her final defense statement in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion.
 
 
Özgür Gündem trial adjourned
 
The eighth hearing of a trial against former editors and columnists of the shuttered pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem was held on July 9.
 
Lawyer and human rights defender Eren Keskin, Özgür Gündem’s former co-editor-in-chief, attended the hearing at the 14th High Criminal Court of Istanbul, monitored by P24.
 
Keskin is charged in this case with “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
 
Also on trial in the same case are Özgür Gündem editors and writers Hüseyin Aykol, Reyhan Çapan and Filiz Koçali, lawyers Ayşe Batumlu and Nuray Özdoğan, writer Ayşe Berktay, spokesperson of 78ers Initiative, Celalettin Can, and Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor Reyhan Hacıoğlu.
 
Both Keskin and her lawyer, Özcan Kılıç, addressed the court during the hearing, demanding that Keskin is acquitted.
 
In its interim ruling issued at the end of the hearing, the court ordered the case file of the main Özgür Gündem trial to be brought in in order to rule on whether or not to merge the two cases, and adjourned the trial until October 9, 2018.
 
 
Other free expression cases of the past week 
 
 
An appellate court on July 12 found actress and singer Zuhal Olcay guilty of “insulting the president” and handed down a prison sentence of 11 months and 20 days. The court was reviewing the trial court’s ruling, which had sentenced the actress to a 10-month prison term. The appellate court increased the sentence on grounds that Olcay had committed the offence “publicly.” The court also deferred the sentence by 1.5 years on grounds that Olcay “had shown remorse.”
 
Rapper Sercan İpekçioğlu, who goes by the stage name Ezhel, is facing a new court case on grounds that his lyrics “incite drug use.” Ezhel risks 10 years in prison as part of the new case, which comes around a month after the rapper was acquitted of the same charge during his trial on June 19.
 
Stage actor Orhan Aydın was taken into custody on July 10 in Istanbul on account of his social media posts. The veteran actor was detained on grounds of two complaints against him. Aydın was released from custody the same day after his statement was taken at the police department.
 
The latest hearing in a trial in which singer Ferhat Tunç is indicted for “insulting the president” was held on July 11 at the Büyükçekmece 14th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul. Tunç was represented by his lawyer Fatma Hopikoğlu during the hearing. The court adjourned the trial until November 28, 2018.
 
Four students from Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) were jailed pending trial on July 10 after four days in custody. The students had been in custody since July 7 on grounds of a banner they held during the school’s 2018 graduation ceremony. The banner featured an old and well-known political cartoon titled “Tayyipler Alemi” (“the Tayyip kingdom” -- an allusion to “animal kingdom”). The students were jailed on the charge of “insulting the president.”
 
Lawyer and academic Hanifi Barış, who was one of the signatories of the 2016 Academics for Peace petition, was jailed pending trial for his social media posts. Barış was sent to Silivri Prison. Barış was jailed for “being a flight risk.”
 
List of journalists and media workers in jail 
 
As of July 13, 2018, at least 178 journalists and media workers are in prison in Turkey 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 Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
12        Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
13        Ali Akkuş, Zaman
14        Ali Aşikar, Azadiya Welat
15        Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
16        Ali Sönmez Kayar, ETHA reporter 
17        Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
18        Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
19        Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
20        Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
21        Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
22        Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
23        Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
24        Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
25        Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
26        Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
27        Behram Kılıç
28        Berzan Güneş, Mezopotamya Agency reporter
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        Doğan Baran, Odak magazine owner, managing editor
40        Ece Sevim Öztürk, Çağdaş Ses editor in chief
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 Zamur, Gün Matbaacılık employee
47        Erol Yüksel, TRT News Department vice president
48        Erol Zavar, Odak magazine owner and newsroom director
49        Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
50        Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
51        Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
52        Ferhat Parlak, Silvan Mücadele newspaper owner
53        Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman chief designer
54        Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
55        Gökhan Öner, former Dihaber reporter
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 Bzokurt, Bugün reporter
67        Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
68        Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper owner and managing editor
69        Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
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        İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
75        İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
76        İdris Yılmaz
77        İhsan Sinmiş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
78        İhsan Yaşar, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi owner
79        İrfan Karaca, Gün Matbaacılık employee
80        İshak Yasul, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi responsible managing editor
81        İsmail Çoban, former Azadiya Welat managing editor
82        İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
83        İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
84        Kamuran Sunbat, former DİHA Çukurova reporter
85        Kasım Zengin, owner of Gün Matbaacılık
86        Kazım Canlan, Cihan news agency Ankara news director
87        Kazım Göçer, Gün Matbaacılık employee
88        Kemal Daşdöğen, Gün Matbaacılık employee
89        Kemal Demir, TV 10 
90        Kemal Özer, Evrensel
91        Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
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 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       Şirin Kabakçı, Zaman Konya bureau chief
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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