Home / Media monitoring / Journalists in State of Emergency - 97

15 October

Journalists in State of Emergency - 97

Two journalists attacked and detained; WSJ reporter given prison sentence and ETHA journalist Tolu remains in prison

Two local journalists in Van province were first assaulted and then taken into police custody on October 14, reported while working on a report about a new construction site.
Van journalists İdris Yılmaz and Erhan Akbaş reported on the case of Mesut D., who allegedly molested at least ten children in a school in Erciş, a district of Van. The two journalists reportedly received threats after the report appeared.
On October 14, journalist Oktay Candemir tweeted that the two reporters had gone missing. Another journalist, Cüneyt Yavuz, claimed Yılmaz and Akbaş were assaulted by a person named Şahin Yağar.
Later, journalist Candemir said that the two reporters were in a state hospital, which was surrounded by a group of armed men. He also said that the two reporters were detained in the hospital and taken to the police station.
It wasn’t immediately clear why they were detained , but the armed group around the hospital were related to a contractor, who was unhappy about the journalists’ plans to report on an ongoing road construction in Van.
The two journalists were released later in the evening, Birgün reported.
Mesut D., the alleged offender in the two journalists’ report, was released on the grounds of lack of evidence, and the two journalists were being tried for “violating the confidentiality order” on the case.
WSJ reporter handed down prison sentence
A Turkish court on October 10 handed down a two-year and one-month prison sentence to Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak.
The journalist was charged with spreading propaganda on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organisation in Turkey.
The journalist is currently in New York. Her sentence relates to a story titled ‘’Urban Warfare Escalates In Turkey’s Kurdish-Majority Southeast,’’ published by WSJ in 2015.
WSJ Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker commented on the charges: "This was an unfounded criminal charge and wildly inappropriate conviction that wrongly singled out a balanced Wall Street Journal report.”
He added: “The sole purpose of the article was to provide objective and independent reporting on events in Turkey, and it succeeded.”
WSJ reported that Albayrak plans to appeal the ruling.
ETHA reporter Meşale Tolu remains in prison
An Istanbul court ruled to keep the arrest warrant in place for Meşale Tolu, a translator with the shuttered ETHA news agency and ruled for the release of imprisoned ETHA photo-journalist Ulaş Sezgin.
On October 11, the two journalists appeared before a court for the first time since their arrest on May 5. The court ruled to keep Tolu in prison, but release Ulaş Ömer Sezgin.
Tolu, who also holds German citizenship, is accused of terror related charges for attending a funeral for militants who died fighting the Islamic State. A secret witness testimony against her is also included in the indictment.
She said she was being kept in prison with her two-year old, as her husband is also imprisoned.
Tolu and her lawyers argued that attending a funeral falls under the scope of freedom of faith, and requested her release.
The next hearing will be held on December 18.
Azadiya Welat employees released
Şirin Çoban and İlker İlkan, two employees of the Azadiya Welat newspaper which was shut down under a cabinet decree, who were imprisoned on terror charges for 13 months, were released on October 12 in their first hearing.
The Mersin 8th High Criminal Court ruled for the release of Çoban and İlkan, who were arrested in September 2016 on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
İlkan testified in court via the court conferencing system SEGBİS at Ermenek Prison where he is being kept, and Çoban, also through SEGBİS, at Tarsus Prison.
Both journalists denied the allegations. Çoban, who testified in Kurdish, said she was only distributing newspapers.
İlkan also asked for his release, saying he had been imprisoned for a long time just for distributing newspapers.
The court released the two employees, given the time period they’ve already spent in prison. They will have to check with their local station at regular intervals.
P24 updates lists of journalists in prison
With the recent updates and in light of recent information about the release of several journalists previously unknown to P24, we have updated our list of journalists in prison. The updated list can be viewed here. Currently, at least 156 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey.
Spain says won’t extradite writer Doğan Akhanlı
Spanish authorities have said they will not extradite a writer who was arrested in the country on a request from Turkey.
The Justice Ministry of Spain announced on October 13  that writer Doğan Akhanlı, who was detained in Spain on a request from Turkey and later released on bail, will not be extradited to Turkey. The ministry said  the decision not to extradite Akhanlı was given by the Cabinet in line with a recommendation from Justice Minister Rafael Catala.
Akhanlı, a resident of Germany originally from Turkey,  was detained on August 19 while vacationing in Spain.
Ahmet Şık given Raif Badawi award
Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık was given the Raif Badawi award for courageous reporting at the 69th Frankfurt Book Fair. The award is given in honor of Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger has been imprisoned  for five years.
Şık has been imprisoned in Turkey since November of last year. His lawyer Can Atalay accepted to award on his behalf.
A message from Ahmet Şık was read during the ceremony. The message said: “It is as painful as it gives me proud being given this award in the name of raid Badawi, who has been imprisoned and tortured for expressing his thoughts in another country, as someone who has been imprisoned for doing journalism, expressing the truth and expressing his opinions.” I leave the shame of pressuring of a journalist for trying to perform his job, which is his duty and responsibility, to the perpetrators of that shame.”
Journalists Ersin Çaksu and Harun Epli convicted on insult charge
On October 12, a court handed down a five-month prison sentence to former Özgürlükçü Demokrasi Editor-in-Chief Ersin Çaksu and Newsroom Manager Harun Epli on charges of “denigrating the Republic of Turkey and the military of the state.”
Eren Keskin convicted over column
Lawyer Eren Keskin was given six months in prison over a column that was published in the shuttered Özgür Gündem daily. The sentence was converted to a monetary fine.
The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance heard the trial on October 12, where Keskin was accused of “denigrating the agencies and institutions of the Republic of Turkey,” in her April 19, 2016 column titled “Radical Evil.”
The six-month term was converted to a TL 3000 monetary fine.
Three newspapers start letter campaign for rights defenders
Evrensel, Cumhuriyet and Birgün newspapers have started a campaign where they will publish letters sent to the eight human rights defenders who were detained on July 5 on the Büyükada island.
İdil Eser, the Director of Amnesty Turkey; İlknur Üstün, Women's Coalition; Günal Kurşun, Human Rights Agenda Association;Nalan Erkem, Citizens’ Assembly; Özlem Dalkıran, Citizens’ Assembly;
Veli Acu, Human Rights Agenda Association; Şeyhmus Özbekli, lawyer Nejat Taştan; Association for Monitoring Equal Rights
Ali Gharavi; Digital strategy and wellbeing consultant, writer
Peter Steudtner; Trainer for non-violence, Digital strategy and well-being consultant were detained on July 5.  Taştan and Özbekli were later released on probation.
The eight who remain in prison are barred from sending or receiving letters. İlknur Üstün, who is being held in Ankara Sincan Prison, can receive letters.
Journalists imprisoned in Turkey
1         Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2         Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
3         Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
4         Abdulvahap İş (Freelance journalist)
5         Ahmet Altan
6         Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt
7         Ahmet Memiş, Gazeteci, Haberdar news website
8         Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
9         Ahmet Şık, Cumhuriyet reporter
10      Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
11      Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
12      Akın Atalay, Pres. of Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board
13      Alaattin Güner, Cihan media director
14      Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
15      Ali Aşikar – Azadiya Welat
16      Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
17      Ali Bulaç, Eski Zaman columnist
18      Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
19      Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
20      Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
21      Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
22      Atilla Taş, Meydan columnist
23      Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
24      Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
25      Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
26      Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
27      Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
28      Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
29      Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
30      Burak Ekici, Birgün
31      Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
32      Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
33      Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
34      Cuma Kaya, Zaman
35      Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
36      Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
37      Çağdaş Erdoğan, Photojournalist
38      Deniz Yücel, Die Welt
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 Alayamut, Dihaber reporter
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      Fevzi Yazıcı
51      Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
52      Gökmen Ulu, Sözcü
53      Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
54      Gültekin Avcı
55      Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
56      Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
57      Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
58      Hakan Taşdelen
59      Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
60      Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
61      Hamza Günerigök, TRT
62      Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
63      Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
64      Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper’s owner and managing editor
65      Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
66      Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
67      Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
68      Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
69      İbrahim Balta, Zaman business editor
70      İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
71      İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
72      İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
73      İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Gündem Newsroom Editor
74      İsmail Avcı, Zaman
75      İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
76      Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
77      Kemal Özer, Evrensel
78      Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
79      Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
80      Mahir Kanaat, BirGün, head of accountingn
81      Mehmet Ali Ay
82      Mehmet Altan
83      Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
84      Mehmet Çakmakçı, Medyascope.tv reporter
85      Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
86      Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
87      Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
88      Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
89      Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
90      Meşale Tolu, ETHA translater
91      Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
92      Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
93      Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
94      Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
95      Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
96      Murat Aksoy,former Yeni Şafak columnist
97      Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
98      Murat Çapan,
99      Murat Çelikkan (Özgür Gündem solidarity trial)
100    Murat Dağdeviren (Demokrat Gebze owner)
101    Murat Sabuncu, Editor-in- Chief
102    Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor,
103    Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
104    Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
105    Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
106    Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
107    Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
108    Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız (local) Editor-in-Chief
109    Nedim Türfent,DİHA
110    Nizamettin İzgi (Batman Newspaper’s owner)
111    Nur Ener, Yeni Asya
112    Nuri Durna, TRT
113    Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
114    Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
115    Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
116    Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
117    Ömer Çelik, DİHA news manager
118    Ömer Faruk Aydemir, İHA editor
119    Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
120    Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
121    Özkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
122    Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
123    Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
124    Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
125    Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
126    Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
127    Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
128    Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
129    Selman Keleş, DİHA
130    Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
131    Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
132    Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
133    Serkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
134    Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
135    Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
136    Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
137    Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
138    Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
139    Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
140    Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
141    Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
142    Tunca Öğreten, former Diken editor
143    Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
144    Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
145    Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
146    Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
147    Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
148    Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
149    Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
150    Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
151    Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
152    Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
153    Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
154    Zafer Özsoy
155    Zehra Doğan, Jinha
156    Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter


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