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10 August

Freedom of Expression and the Press in Turkey - 153

Former DİHA reporter Uğur Akgül jailed; Hülya Emeç, her news source given suspended prison terms for “denigrating security forces” in news story


Uğur Akgül, a former reporter for a the shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA) was arrested on 8 August in the southeastern city of Mardin.
 
Akgül was arrested by the police at his father’s workplace after a court upheld a 2.5 year-conviction for Akgül. Akgül was sentenced for his coverage of the curfews imposed in Nusaybin.
 
Akgül was sent to the Mardin E Type Prison.
 
 
Mehmet Baransu refuses to continue defense, trial adjourned till November
 
Former Taraf correspondent Mehmet Baransu on 7 August appeared at the ninth hearing of a court case against former journalists of the shuttered daily on the alleged publication of documents called “Egemen War Plan.”
 
P24 monitored the hearing at the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul. The hearing could only begin in the afternoon because one of the judges on the panel was assigned to two different panels. The hearing was originally planned to last for three days and Baransu was expected to continue with his defense statement, but he refused to go on with it without the court’s original panel.
 
His lawyer Yahya Engin also said they requested to continue with their defense statement before the original panel overseeing the case.
 
Engin also requested for Baransu to be released from pretrial detention in line with the European Convention on Human Rights and case law by the European Court of Human Rights.
 
Baransu then requested for this file to be merged with an ongoing trial against him in Mersin.
 
Issuing an interim ruling after a brief recess, the court ruled for the continuation of Baransu’s detention. The panel also decided to examine the indictment for the case in Mersin, and adjourned the trial until 1-2 November 2018.
 
 
Berzan Güneş released from pretrial detention in first hearing 
 
Berzan Güneş, a reporter for Mezopotamya news agency, who was jailed pending trial in June, was released from pretrial detention at the end of the first hearing of his case.
 
Güneş is indicted for “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” via social media.
 
Addressing the High Criminal Court of Iğdır via the courtroom video-conferencing system SEGBİS from the Şırnak Prison, Güneş rejected the accusations and said all his social media posts featured news content. He said his posts had not included his personal comments, only the facts and had not aimed at propaganda of any organization.
 
Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to release Güneş in line with the prosecutor’s opinion. The court imposed judicial control measures and an overseas travel ban on Güneş and adjourned the trial until 4 September.
 
 
Ziya Ataman remains behind bars in 3rd hearing
 
Jailed DİHA reporter Ziya Ataman, in pretrial detention since April 2016, appeared before a Şırnak court on 7 August for the third hearing of his trial.
 
Although Ataman was arrested on the charge of “membership in a terrorist group,” he is charged in the indictment with eight different offences, including “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state,” “attempting to intentionally kill a civil servant because of the public service he performs with premeditation,” “intentionally killing a civil a servant because of the public service he performs with premeditation,” and “attempting to premeditated murder.” Ataman stands trial alongside 18 other defendants.
 
Addressing the court via SEGBİS from the Van Maximum Security Prison, Ataman said the indictment had been prepared without taking his deposition and the accusations were not based on concrete evidence. Adding that he was already in prison at the time of the incident in the indictment, Ataman requested for his release and his acquittal.
 
Lawyers representing Ataman’s co-defendants also told the court that a witness who testified against the defendants for he case file had actually testified under torture and that this person was made to sign a deposition he did not give.
 
Issuing its interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the First High Criminal Court of Şırnak ordered the continuation of Ataman and the rest of the jailed defendants’ pretrial detention, and adjourned the trial until 26 October.
 
 
MA reporter Ruken Demir taken into custody, released 
 
Ruken Demir, an İzmir based reported for the Mezopotamya news agency, was taken into custody on 7 August in Diyarbakır. After being held in detention for three days at the Diyarbakır Police Department, Demir was referred to the courthouse on 10 August, and released from custody under judicial control measures.
 
Demir was detained as part of an investigation launched by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, as part of which the journalist’s home in Izmir was also raided on 7 August. Demir is accused in the investigation with the terrorism-related charges of “membership in a terrorist group” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group.”
 
 
Hülya Emeç, news source given suspended prison terms 
 
Hülya Emeç, a former reporter for DİHA, and her source were each given 6 months in prison for a news report.
 
Emeç had written about a 48-year-old man named Şefik Tunuç, who died of a heart attack after police, in 2014, raided his house in Gevaş, a district of Van, three times in a row.
 
Emeç’s coverage prompted a court case, in which the dead man’s widow Hafize Tunuç, DİHA Executive Board Chair Zeleriya Güzüpek, DİHA responsible managing editor Dicle Müftüoğlu, and DİHA Van bureau chief Ferhat Çelik were indicted alongside Emeç for “publicly denigrating the security organization” as per Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.
 
Announcing its verdict at the end of the final hearing of the case, the Gevaş Criminal Court of First Instance found Emeç and Tunuç guilty, giving both suspended 6-month prison sentences. Güzüpek, Müftüoğlu and Çelik were acquitted.
 
 
Tele 1 TV fined for comment about “imam-hatip” students
 
Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), fined the TV station Tele 1 for remarks on a news programme called “18 Dakika” (18 Minutes). RTÜK imposed the highest administrative fine on Tele 1 TV for comments about state-run Islamic schools called “imam-hatip schools” during the said programme. RTÜK said the fine was imposed because “imam-hatip students were billed during the comments as militants and Atatürk haters.”
 
 
Other free expression cases of the past week 
 
Four individuals in Kayseri were taken into custody on allegations that they conducted propaganda for PKK/KCK on social media. Kenan Maraşlı, who ran for the Parliament as a People’s Democratic Party (HDP) candidate in the 24 June elections, was among those in custody, news reports said. 

Mehmet Ali Başkale, a security guard for Şişli Mayor Hayri İnönü, was jailed pending trial on 9 August on the charge of “insulting the president” via Twitter. Başkale was arrested as part of an investigation launched by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office. He was referred to a court the same day, which jailed Başkale. 
 
Journalists and media workers in prison 
 
P24 has updated its list of Journalists and Media Workers in Jail, compiled using information available in open sources.
 
Following Berzan Güneş’s release from pretrial detention and Uğur Akgül’s imprisonment during the week, and two recent inclusions in the list -- ETHA intern reporter Ferhat Haldun Pehlivan and Atılım newspaper’s chief editor Demir Bakır, both of whom are in pretrial detention in Silivri Prison -- there are now at least 183 journalists and media workers either in pretrial detention or serving a sentence in Turkey’s prisons.
 
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        Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
29        Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
30        Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
31        Cemal Tunç, Gün Matbaacılık employee
32        Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
33        Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
34        Cumali Çaygeç, TRT Şeş news director
35        Cumali Öz, Gün Matbaacılık employee
36        Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
37        Çetin Kurşun, Azadiya Welat
38        Deniz Bakır, Atılım editor in chief
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 Haldun Pehlivan, ETHA intern reporter
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 Bzokurt, Bugün reporter
67        Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
68        Hasan Hüseyin Örs, former TRT production-broadcast operator
69        Hasan Taşar, former TRT Ankara reporter
70        Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper owner and managing editor
71        Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
72        Hicran Ürün, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
73        Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group president
74        Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
75        İbrahim Halil Öztürkeri, former TRT production-broadcast operator
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 Yasul, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi responsible managing editor
83        İsmail Çoban, former Azadiya Welat 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 Canlan, Cihan news agency Ankara news director
89        Kazım Göçer, Gün Matbaacılık employee
90        Kemal Daşdöğen, Gün Matbaacılık employee
91        Kemal Demir, TV 10
92        Kemal Özer, Evrensel
93        Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
94        Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
95        Kubilay Çelik, Antropolog magazine responsible managing editor
96        Mahmut Abay, Gün Matbaacılık employee
97        Mehmet Ali Ay
98        Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
99        Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
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 Sıddık damar, DİHA
107       Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
108       Metin Arslan, Bugün reporter
109       Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
110       Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM broadcast coordinator
111       Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ
112       Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, owner of Subuhaber.com
113       Muhammet Özkan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
114       Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
115       Murat Çapan, Nokta
116       Murat Dağdeviren, Demokrat Gebze owner
117       Musa Kaya, Gün Matbaacılık employee
118       Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor
119       Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
120       Mustafa Gökkılıç, reporter, Radikal and Habertürk TV
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       Özden Kınık, TRT
140       Özgür Bozkurt, Gün Matbaacılık employee
141       Pınar Gayıp, ETHA reporter
142       Pınar Tarlak, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
143       Polat Arslan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
144       Reyhan Çapan, Özgür Gündem managing editor
145       Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
146       Sadettin Demirtaş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
147       Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ
148       Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
149       Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ
150       Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine managing editor
151       Seda Taşkın, Mezopotamya News Agency reporter
152       Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter/distributor
153       Semiha Şahin, ETHA editor
154       Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
155       Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
156       Serpil Ünal, Mücadele Birliği reporter
157       Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
158       Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
159       Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
160       Sezai Yavaş, TRT Diyarbakır deputy regional director
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       Şirin Kabakçı, Zaman Konya bureau chief
167       Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
168       Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
169       Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
170       Uğur Akgül
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       Zehra Doğan, Jinha
183       Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter
 

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