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19 February

Journalists in State of Emergency - 120

Imprisoned reporter İdris Sayılgan ordered to remain behind bars in the second hearing of the case against him

 
İdris Sayılgan, a reporter for the shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA), on February 19, 2018, appeared in the second hearing of a case in which he is accused of “membership in a terrorist organization.”
 
Sayılgan appeared in the hearing at the second High Criminal Court of Muş via the courtroom video-conferencing system SEGBİS from the Trabzon Prison, where he is currently jailed pending trial.
 
P24 followed the hearing at the courtroom.
 
Sayılgan is standing trial in the case alongside five others, four of whom are also in pretrial detention.
 
The prosecutor requested the continuation of detention of all jailed defendants in the hearing.
 
Sayılgan said in his defense that his previous defense statements were not put in the court minutes. He asserted that 57 pages of the 67-page long indictment against him and his co-defendants were based on wiretap recordings and that in the section of the wiretaps about him there was no element of crime.
 
Also noting that the statute of limitations to open investigations into his news reports have expired as per Turkey’s Press Law, Sayılgan said the indictment against him alleged that his news stories were aimed at serving the goals of the PKK/KCK. Sayılgan said: “I am being made to look as though I were a journalist [working] for the organization, but I am only a journalist. My work is not by any means in connection with the organization.”
 
Sayılgan concluded his defense by requesting his acquittal and release from prison.
 
Addressing the court after Sayılgan, his lawyer, Barış Oflas, added that his client was a critical journalist and that Sayılgan was standing trial on account of his journalistic activities. He said Sayılgan’s right to freedom of expression was being violated and requested his client’s release on judicial control terms by reason of his lengthy pretrial detention.
 
Issuing an interim decision, the court ruled for the continuation of detention for all imprisoned suspects including Sayılgan, and adjourned the trial to May 23.
 
Court sentences the Altan brothers and Ilıcak to life in prison
 
Journalists and columnists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak and three other co-defendants were handed down aggravated life sentences for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” at the last hearing of the case against them on February 16.
 
A detailed report on the story, in English, as well as the full text of the court’s verdict, in Turkish, can be found here.
 
Two journalists for Mezopotamya agency briefly detained
 
Elif Çetiner, the responsible managing editor for the Mesopotamia news agency (MA), and reporter Melike Ceyhan, were briefly taken into custody on February 18 in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district. The two journalists were released in the afternoon.
 
Çetiner and Ceyhan were in the Hacı Ahmet neighborhood in Beyoğlu when they were stopped by police on grounds of a “tip-off” and taken into custody, after which the two journalists were taken to the Kasımpaşa Police Station. The two journalists were released following police interrogation.
 
It has been reported that the tip-off against the two journalists said they “had been conducting interviews on the subject of Afrin.”
 
Journalist acquitted of “insulting the President”
 
Journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu on February 15, 2018, was acquitted in the first hearing of a trial in which he faced up to four years and eight months in prison on the charge of “insulting the president.”
 
The Istanbul 33rd Criminal Court of First Instance acquitted Mavioğlu of the charge, which was based on a message he had shared on Twitter on July 20, 2015, following a suicide attack that killed 33 people among a group of young activists who had gathered in the town of Suruç in the Urfa province to provide aid to Kobane across the Syrian border.
 
“Take your 400 deputies, give us back our 30 children you vile murderer,” Mavioğlu had tweeted.
 
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was a plaintiff in the case.
 
Mavioğlu said during the February 15 hearing that at the time of the incident social media trolls were defending the attack. “I and many people like me have been put on trial for messages condemning [the attack]. But isn’t it strange that there is not even a single investigation into those who supported the massacre […] in a country where it is claimed at every given opportunity that there is the rule of law?” he said.
 
Mavioğlu also criticized the prosecutor Umut Tepe who wrote the indictment for mistakenly indicating that Mavioğlu’s tweet of 2015 was dated 2016.
 
Three Academics for Peace appear at first hearings
 
Three academics from the Yıldız Technical University (YTÜ) and Kadir Has University appeared at the first hearing of the trials against them on February 15, heard by the 34th and 36th High Criminal Courts of Istanbul. The courts rejected the lawyers’ requests for acquittal in all three cases. The trials were adjourned to September and November.
 
The “academics trials,” filed against the signatories of January 2016’s Academics for Peace petition, signed by 1,128 academics in Turkey, started to be heard on December 5, 2017. Individual lawsuits have been opened against at least 148 of the academics so far. The indictment accuses the signatories of the petition of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
2 arrested in İzmir for social media posts
 
Two people in İzmir were jailed on February 15 on account of their social media posts criticizing Turkey’s ongoing military operation on the Syrian town Afrin. Two other people were released on judicial control terms.
 
On February 19, the Interior Ministry said in its weekly press release posted on its official website that since the launch of Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” on the Syrian town of Afrin on January 20, 2018, some “85 demonstrations have been organized and 587 propaganda [posts] on social media” have been detected. “A total of 786 suspects [who have taken part in] demonstrations and [conducted] propaganda [against the operation on Afrin] have been taken into custody,” the ministry explained.
 
Die Welt journalist Deniz Yücel released from Silivri
 
Deniz Yücel, German Die Welt newspaper’s correspondent in Turkey who had been in pretrial detention in Istanbul’s Silivri Prison since February 2017 without any charges brought against him, was released on February 16, one day after bilateral talks in Berlin between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
 
For a detailed report, click here.
 
The release of Deniz Yücel from Silivri Prison has brought the number of journalists in prison in Turkey to 155. The full list can be seen here.
 
List of journalists in prison (as of February 16, 2018)
 
1                Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2                Abdullah Kaya, DİHA
3                Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
4                Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
5                Abdulvahap İş (Freelance journalist)
6                Ahmet Altan
7                Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt
8                Ahmet Memiş, Gazeteci, Haberdar news website
9                Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
10              Ahmet Şık, Cumhuriyet reporter
11              Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
12              Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
13              Akın Atalay, Pres. of Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board
14              Alaattin Güner, Cihan media director
15              Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
16              Ali Aşikar – Azadiya Welat
17              Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
18              Ali Bulaç, former Zaman columnist
19              Ali Sönmez Kayar, ETHA reporter
20              Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
21              Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
22              Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
23              Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
24              Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
25              Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
26              Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
27              Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
28              Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
29              Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
30              Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
31              Behram Kılıç
32              Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
33              Burak Ekici, Birgün
34              Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
35              Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
36              Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
37              Cuma Kaya, Zaman
38              Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
39              Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
40              Emin Demir, Freelancer
41              Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
42              Ercan Gün, Fox TV
43              Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
44              Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
45              Erdoğan Alayamut, Dihaber reporter
46              Erol Yüksel (TRT News Department vice president))
47              Erol Zavar, Odak magazine, owner and newsroom director
48              Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
49              Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
50              Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
51              Fevzi Yazıcı
52              Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
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              Haydar Ergül, Demokratik Modernite editor
68              Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
69              Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
70              Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
71              İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
72              İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
73              İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
74              İdris Yılmaz
75              İshak Karakaş, Hakın Nabzı editor in chief
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 Demir, TV 10
81              Kemal Özer, Evrensel
82              Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
83              Mehmet Ali Ay
84              Mehmet Altan
85              Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
86              Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
87              Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
88              Mehmet Gündem
89              Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
90              Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
91              Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
92              Mete Cem Bahtiyar, former BirGün reporter
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, Nokta
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            Nuh Gönültaş
112            Nur Ener, Yeni Asya
113            Nuri Durna, TRT
114            Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
115            Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
116            Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
117            Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
118            Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
119            Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
120            Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
121            Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
122            Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
123            Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
124            Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
125            Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
126            Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
127            Seda Taşkın, Mesopotamia News Agency reporter
128            Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
129            Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
130            Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
131            Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
132            Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
133            Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
134            Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
135            Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
136            Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
137            Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
138            Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
139            Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
140            Turgut Usul, TRT reporter
141            Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
142            Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
143            Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
144            Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
145            Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
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
 
 
For a full list of all the imprisoned journalists in Turkey, visit this spreadsheet. Lists of all of the foundations and associations as well as media outlets shut down can also be found at the same link, although on different tabs of the same spreadsheet.

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