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30 October

Journalists in State of Emergency – 99

Journalists Murat Aksoy, Atilla Taş and Ömer Çelik released, while three other journalists arrested

An Istanbul court ruled for the release of journalists Murat Aksoy and Atilla Taş as well as teacher Davut Aydın on October 24.
The two journalists and Aydın were released by the Istanbul 25th High Criminal Court, which is hearing a case into some 30 suspects, mostly journalists, who are accused of having worked for the media arm of the organization -- called Fethullahist Terror Organization and abbreviated as FETÖ by the authorities -- that allegedly staged the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
On March 31, the same court had released 21 people, but none of them could be released as 13 were detained on new charges and the eight immediately rearrested. Taş and Aksoy were among the 13 who faced new charges of attempting to overthrow the government in the same trial. The new investigation was then merged with the ongoing trial.
Bünyamin Köseli, a former reporter with the shuttered Aksiyon magazine and Bugün newspaper reporter Cihan Acar were released earlier under judicial control.
In the October 24 hearing, the court investigated whether the suspects had bank accounts at Bank Asya or used the secret chat application ByLock; both signs that show membership of the Fethullah Gülen network according to Turkish authorities.
“I am tired of getting a beating from the law. The courts are here for us, not against us,” Taş said in his final statement.
“I have never resorted to brute force or violence. My only weapon is my keyboard, my pen,” Aksoy said.
Teacher Davut Aydın, who suffers from scoliosis of the spine, complained of his deteriorating health.
The three suspects were released. The next hearing will be held on December 4.
Currently, 20 journalists in the same trial remain in prison. The suspects in the case are: Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Atilla Taş, Bayram Kaya, Bülent Ceyhan, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Davut Aydın, Emre Soncan, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Habip Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Muhterem Tanık, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Oğuz Usluer, Said Sefa, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Yetkin Yıldız.
Ömer Çelik released in RedHack trial
In another trial heard also on October 24, editor of the shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA) was released in a trial where six journalists -- three of them in prison -- are charged for reporting on email correspondence of Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, after his messages were leaked by a group named RedHack.
The Istanbul 29th High Criminal court ruled for the release of DİHA news manager Ömer Çelik, while ruled to keep the arrest warrants for Tunca Öğreten, a former editor with the news website Diken, and Mahir Kanaat, an employee of the Birgün newspaper.
The court also granted a leave to intervene to Berat Albayrak himself.
A total of six journalists are on trial in the case, accused of “membership in a terrorist organization,” “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization and “preventing an IT system, distorting it, changing or destroying data.”
A lawyer representing Kanaat said the sole reason for his arrest was that the police had found a document -- relating to an 2013 corruption investigation which implicated four ministers and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family --  in his client’s house that could easily be downloaded from the Internet.
Derya Okatan, the responsible managing editor for the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA) who was released earlier in the investigation pending trial, said two of her lawyers had been taken into police custody; a violation of her right to legal counsel.
She also said her agency and the others published reports on the emails on the grounds of public interest, adding that the emails had been uploaded on the website WikiLeaks.
“There is no evidence against us accept for our news reports.” She also said the prosecution had claimed that some of the emails might contain state secrets, to which she said no state secrets should be shared through the minister’s personal email account.
Yolculuk newspaper’s Managing Editor Eray Sargın and DİHA reporter Metin Yoksa also testified in the trial.
“I don’t think conversing about these emails on a Whatsapp group is a crime. Everyone was talking about this in those days,” he said.
Yoksu said although he had been detained over the Albayrak emails, he said the indictment included news reports that he had made on other issues as evidence against him.
DİHA news manager Ömer Çelik, who testified in Kurdish, said he had been subject to physical abuse while in detention. “Perhaps this news report could have won a journalism award if we lived in a country where the law worked,” he said.
Kanaat, said, “I never downloaded the emails, never reported on them. I am being tried for news reports that don’t exist.”
He said the prosecutor had listed his following RedHack on Twitter and online correspondence with Deniz Yücel, a Die Welt reporter who has been imprisoned since January, as if these were crimes.
Öğreten, who testified last, said he reported on the minister’s messages at a time when they were already out in the open.
The next hearing in the trial will be heard on Dec. 6, 2017 at 11 a.m.
Two ETHA reporters arrested
Havva Cuştan and Isminaz Temel, two reporters of the ETHA news agency, were arrested on terror charges on October 26.
The two journalists were initially taken into custody on October 19 as part of an operation into the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) in dawn raids in which 14 people were detained. Twelve of those taken have now been formally arrested.
Anatolia reporter arrested over ByLock use
Ismail Ersan, the Yalova Bureau Chief for the Anatolia news agency, was arrested by a peace court in Yalova on October 20 for using the ByLock chat application.
The Sözcü newspaper reported on Ersan’s situation on October 25, five days after  his arrest. Sözcü said an official statement from the Yalova Chief Prosecutor’s Office had announced Ersan’s arrest. The journalist is facing charges of “membership in a terrorist organization,” according to Sözcü.
Number of journalists in prison at 155
Following the releases of Taş, Aksoy and Çelik and the arrests of Temel and Cuştan of ETHA, the number of journalists in prison in Turkey has reached 155. The full list can be viewed here. 
Birgün reporter Zeynep Kuray in police custody
BirGün daily reporter Zeynep Kuray was detained on October 25 by police over her Facebook posts, which allegedly constitute “terror propaganda.” She was released after testifying to prosecutor.
Taraf national security council trial adjourned until January
The trial of former Taraf reporter Mehmet Baransu and responsible managing editor Murat Şevki Çoban, who are accused of divulging state secrets, was held on October 25.
It was adjourned until January 9, 2018.
The  Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court is hearing  the case which is related to a news report published in Taraf on November 28, 2013 titled “Decision to finish off Gülen was taken by MGK in 2004.” The story said the Islamist Fethullah Gülen network was listed as a threat in a National Security Council (MGK) meeting in that year.
The two journalists face between 26 to 52 years for a variety of charges, including divulging state secrets and exposing documents of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT).
Özgür Gündem solidarity trial held
On October 26, 13 journalists and writers appeared before the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court for having participated in a campaign to show solidarity with the Özgür Gündem daily, which has since been shuttered.
None of the defendants attended the trial. The presiding judge requested testimony from Dilşah Kocakaya, who is arrested in Diyarbakır Prison as part of another trial, via the Diyarbakır High Criminal Court. The trial was adjourned until March 15, 2018.
TMSF puts assets seized from 12 media companies
Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) put on sale assets and property previously owned by 12 different media organizations, including the Taraf and Özgür Gündem newspapers.
The TMSF was founded after the 2000 economic crisis in Turkey to ensure that the state can recoup debts from corrupt businesses or bankrupt investors. It has recently been criticized for having become an instrument of transferring the wealth of dissenters to government allies.
The minimum price for the sale was set as TL 146, 417. The body will accept bids until November 17.
Permits, machinery, equipment and fixed assets which previously belonged to Medya Gazetesi, Art Tv ve Art Radyo, Haber Radyo Ege, Herkül Fm, Htv Hayat Tv, Kanal 24 Tv, Nazar Gazetesi, Özgür Gündem gazetesi, Özgür Radyo, Taraf gazetesi, Uşak Rd Klas and the Yeni Emek newspaper will be sold off through bidding.
There will be auctions among bidders who have  made proposals for the same items.
Turkish government given more time by ECtHR
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has given more time to Turkish government to respond in the cases of imprisoned journalists, which the Court earlier announced will treat as a priority. This is the second time the Turkish Government has been granted an extension to the time to respond to the court.
The Turkish government was given extra time until Nov. 7 in the case of Cumhuriyet journalist and until November 8 in the cases of Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay. The Court, in written correspondence addressed to legal counsel for the applicants, said it will not grant any additional time to the Turkish government.
The Turkish government has also asked for more time to respond in the case of applicant Deniz Yücel, a Die Welt reporter who has been imprisoned in Turkey since January. Turkey initially had until October 24 to respond in the case of Yücel.
Meanwhile, ten international organizations defending freedom of expression have submitted interventions to the European Case in the cases of Turkish journalists. The interventions came from: Media Legal Defence Initiative, PEN International, ARTICLE 19, the Association of European Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, the European Federation of Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Index on Censorship, the International Federation of Journalists, the International Press Institute, the International Senior Lawyers Project and Reporters without Borders.
List of journalists imprisoned in Turkey
            Name, publication
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       Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
23       Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
24       Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
25       Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
26       Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
27       Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
28       Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
29       Binali Erdoğan, former TRT cameraman
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       Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
66       Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
67       Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
68       Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
69       Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
70       İbrahim Balta, Zaman business editor
71       İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
72       İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
73       İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
74       İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Gündem Newsroom Editor
75       İsmail Avcı, Zaman
76       İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
77       İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
78       İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
79       Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
80       Kemal Özer, Evrensel
81       Kemal Sancılı, Özgür Gündem copyrights holder
82       Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
83       Mahir Kanaat, BirGün, head of accountingn
84       Mehmet Ali Ay
85       Mehmet Altan
86       Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
87       Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
88       Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
89       Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
90       Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
91       Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
92       Meşale Tolu, ETHA translater
93       Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
94       Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
95       Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
96       Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
97       Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
98       Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
99       Murat Çapan,
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 Faruk Aydemir, İHA editor
118     Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
119     Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
120     Özkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
121     Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
122     Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
123     Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
124     Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
125     Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
126     Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
127     Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
128     Selman Keleş, DİHA
129     Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
130     Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
131     Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
132     Serkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
133     Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
134     Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
135     Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
136     Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
137     Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
138     Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
139     Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
140     Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
141     Tunca Öğreten, former Diken editor
142     Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
143     Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
144     Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
145     Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
146     Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
147     Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
148     Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
149     Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
150     Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
151     Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
152     Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
153     Zafer Özsoy
154     Zehra Doğan, Jinha
155     Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter

Tags: Murat Aksoy , Atilla Taş , Ömer Çelik


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