Journalists in State of Emergency – 146
Sedat Sur faces investigation for social media posts; Şirin Kabakçı appears in first hearing after 14 months in pretrial detention
Ece Sevim Öztürk, the editor-in-chief of the news website Çağdaş Ses (Contemporary Voice), was jailed pending trial late on June 20, following 12 days in police custody. Öztürk was arrested on June 8 as part of an investigation launched by the Organized Crime department of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on the ground that she had “shared pro-FETÖ posts on a social media website.”
A detailed report can be accessed here.
Paris-based freelance journalist faces arrest warrant in Turkey
The seventh hearing of a trial against Paris-based freelance journalist Halil İbrahim Erbil was held on June 21 at the Gaziantep 2nd High Criminal Court. An arrest warrant is in place against the journalist as part of the case, in which he is indicted for “threatening the Mayor of Gaziantep Fatma Şahin” through his social media posts and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group.” The Gaziantep 2nd High Criminal Court ruled to await the result of the arrest warrant against Erbil, and adjourned the trial until January 10, 2019.
Journalist Sertaç Kayar appears in first hearing
Freelance journalist Sertaç Kayar on June 22 appeared before a court in Diyarbakır for the first hearing of a case against him, in which the accusations are based on his news stories and his social media posts. Addressing the 10th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır during the hearing, Kayar said he was not an activist but a journalist. The court adjourned the trial.
Ahmet Altan, Pelin Ünker, Perihan Mağden trials adjourned
One of the numerous trials against imprisoned novelist and journalist Ahmet Altan on the charge of “insulting the president,” set for June 21 at the Istanbul 30th Criminal Court of First Instance, was postponed because the judge was on leave. The case is based on an article by Altan titled “The New Ergenekon”, which was posted on the P24 website on May 8, 2016. The case was postponed until December 21, 2018.
Pelin Ünker, the finance desk editor for Cumhuriyet daily, was also set to appear before a court on June 21 for the first hearing of a trial against her on account of a news story about “Paradise Papers.” The case was filed by Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, his brother Serhat Albayrak, and businessman Ahmet Çalık on grounds of Ünker’s November 2017 story. The case, which was initially rejected but was reopened after the Albayraks and Çalık objected, was postponed to a later date because the judge of the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance of Istanbul was on leave on June 21.
Columnist and author Perihan Mağden was also set to appear before the same court on the same day as Ünker for the latest hearing in the case in which she stands accused of “insulting the president.” The hearing will instead take place on November 22, 2018.
Sedat Sur faces criminal investigation for social media posts
Özgürüz reporter Sedat Sur is facing a criminal investigation because of his social media posts concerning an election-related clash on June 14 in the southeastern district of Suruç in which four people were killed.
Announcing the investigation on his Twitter account, Sur said he reported to the local police department on June 20 to give his statement in response to the allegations. He said his social media posts were journalistic activity and based on information from local sources in Suruç.
Çiğdem Toker appears before court in compensation case
Cumhuriyet columnist Çiğdem Toker appeared before an Ankara court on June 19 for the first hearing of a lawsuit filed by Agrobay, an agricultural company, seeking TL 1.5 million in non-pecuniary damages for a newspaper column by Toker.
The column, published in November 2017, was about Turkish agricultural companies approved to export tomatoes to Russia following the lifting of restrictions Russia imposed on Turkey after it downed a Russian fighter jet in November 2015. Agrobay executives claim Toker’s article “destroyed the company’s public image” and “damaged its commercial standing.”
Toker was in attendance at the June 19 hearing, monitored by P24.
Toker told the 1st Civil Court of First Instance of Ankara that her column was within the limits of freedom of expression and requested for the case to be rejected.
The plaintiffs requested additional time to present the court with evidence.
The court adjourned the trial until December 6, 2018.
Şirin Kabakçı appears before court after 14 months in pretrial detention
Şirin Kabakçı, the former Konya bureau chief of the now closed-down Zaman daily, appeared before an Istanbul court on June 19 for the first hearing of his trial.
Kabakçı has been in pretrial detention at the Konya Prison for the past 14 months on the charge of “membership in the FETÖ.” FETÖ stands for “Fetullahist Terrorist Organization,” the name given to the Fethullah Gülen network by the government.
Kabakçı addressed the 35th High Criminal Court of Istanbul via the courtroom video-conferencing system SEGBİS during the hearing, monitored by P24.
Kabakçı told the court that he has been a journalist since 1990, and rejected the accusations against him. The allegation against Kabakçı is based on his social security records proving his employment at Zaman, his phone records with persons purported to be FETÖ members, his overseas travels, and his participation in demonstrations in protest of the arrests of Zaman’s former editor in chief Ekrem Dumanlı and former Samanyolu TV executive Hidayet Karaca.
Kabakçı also denied the allegation in the indictment that he was a ByLock user and requested for his acquittal and his release.
Kabakçı’s lawyer told the court that part of his client’s documents on which his defense statement was written was confiscated by prison officials ahead of the hearing.
The lawyer said there were no ByLock records about Kabakçı, and the case file against him did not include any substantial evidence as to his being a member of a terrorist group, requesting for Kabakçı to be released.
Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ruled for the continuation of Kabakçı’s pretrial detention and adjourned the trial until August 16, 2018.
Hakan Gülseven jailed for a day for 2013 article
Journalist Hakan Gülseven was sent to prison on June 19 for an article he wrote in 2013.
Gülseven was jailed because Yurt newspaper, where his article was published, failed to pay a TL 7,000 legal fine the journalist was sentenced for “insulting a public officer due to the performance of his public duty” in his November 11, 2013, article. The article was about former Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş publicly insulting a protestor.
An arrest warrant had been issued against Gülseven because the newspaper failed to pay the fine. He was arrested at the Ayvalık courthouse, where he reported to give his statement in another case, and sent to the Burhaniye Prison. Gülseven was released a day later, on June 20, after his friends paid the fine.
Other free expression cases of the past week
An Istanbul court ruled on June 21 to keep Taner Kılıç, the honorary chair of Amnesty Turkey, in pretrial detention despite police reports indicating that he did not use an encrypted smartphone messaging application that authorities consider to be the evidence of “FETÖ membership.” Kılıç stands trial along with 10 other human rights defenders who were arrested during a meeting in Istanbul’s Büyükada last July. You can read more about the hearing, monitored by P24, here.
Sebla Küçük, a translator-interpreter, will be standing trial on the charge of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group” for posting on Twitter her Turkish translations of tweets in other langauges about Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin. The allegations in the indictment against Küçük are based on three Twitter posts by foreign news agencies and journalists which she translated. The first hearing of the case, to be overseen by the 35th High Criminal Court of Istanbul, is set for November 22, 2018.
Rap singer Ezhel was acquitted of the charges against him in the first hearing of his trial on June 19. The singer was jailed pending trial in late May on grounds that his lyrics “encourage drug use.” To read more about the hearing, monitored by P24, click here.
Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced in a statement posted this week on its official website that during the week of June 11-18, it has launched legal action against 251 individuals on account of their social media posts. Two of these individuals were separately jailed pending trial on June 12 and June 14 on charges of “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group.” Another individual in the Kayseri province has been taken into custody on the same charge, the ministry said.
List of journalists in prison
As journalist Ece Sevim Öztürk was jailed pending trial on June 20, the number of journalists and media workers in prison in Turkey became at least 182.
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 Turan Alkan, Zaman
12 Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
13 Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
14 Ali Akkuş, Zaman
15 Ali Aşikar, Azadiya Welat
16 Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
17 Ali Sönmez Kayar, ETHA reporter
18 Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
19 Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
20 Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
21 Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
22 Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
23 Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
24 Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
25 Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
26 Barış Ceyhan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
27 Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
28 Behram Kılıç
29 Berzan Güneş, Mezopotamya Agency reporter
30 Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
31 Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
32 Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
33 Cemal Tunç, Gün Matbaacılık employee
34 Ceren Taşkın, Hatay'ın Sesi
35 Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
36 Cumali Çaygeç, TRT Şeş news director
37 Cumali Öz, Gün Matbaacılık employee
38 Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
39 Çetin Kurşun, Azadiya Welat
40 Doğan Baran, Odak magazine owner, managing editor
41 Ece Sevim Öztürk, Çağdaş Ses editor in chief
42 Emin Demir, freelancer
43 Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
44 Ercan Gün, Fox TV
45 Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
46 Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
47 Erdoğan Zamur, Gün Matbaacılık employee
48 Erol Yüksel, TRT News Department vice president
49 Erol Zavar, Odak magazine owner and newsroom director
50 Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
51 Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
52 Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
53 Ferhat Parlak, Silvan Mücadele newspaper owner
54 Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman chief designer
55 Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
56 Gökhan Öner, former Dihaber reporter
57 Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
58 Gültekin Avcı
59 Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
60 Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
61 Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
62 Hakan Taşdelen
63 Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
64 Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
65 Hamza Günerigök, TRT
66 Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
67 Hasan Bzokurt, Bugün reporter
68 Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
69 Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper owner and managing editor
70 Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
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 Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
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 Altan
100 Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
101 Mehmet Dursun
102 Mehmet Emin Sümeli, Gün Matbaacılık employee
103 Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
104 Mehmet Gündem
105 Mehmet Kadir Özkara, Gün Matbaacılık employee
106 Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
107 Mehmet Sıddık damar, DİHA
108 Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
109 Metin Arslan, Bugün reporter
110 Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
111 Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM broadcast coordinator
112 Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ
113 Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, owner of Subuhaber.com
114 Muhammet Özkan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
115 Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
116 Murat Çapan, Nokta
117 Murat Dağdeviren, Demokrat Gebze owner
118 Musa Kaya, Gün Matbaacılık employee
119 Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor
120 Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
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 Özgür Bozkurt, Gün Matbaacılık employee
140 Pınar Gayıp, ETHA reporter
141 Pınar Tarlak, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee
142 Polat Arslan, Gün Matbaacılık employee
143 Reyhan Çapan, Özgür Gündem managing editor
144 Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi editor
145 Sadettin Demirtaş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
146 Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ
147 Sait Gürkan Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
148 Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ
149 Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine managing editor
150 Seda Taşkın, Mezopotamya News Agency reporter
151 Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter/distributor
152 Semiha Şahin, ETHA editor
153 Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
154 Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
155 Serpil Ünal, Mücadele Birliği reporter
156 Sertan Önal, Halkın Günlüğü reporter
157 Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
158 Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
159 Sezai Yavaş, TRT Diyarbakır deputy regional director
160 Songül Yücel, Önsöz editor in chief
161 Süleyman Acar, Mücadele Birliği editor in chief
162 Süleyman Güneş, Gün Matbaacılık employee
163 Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
164 Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
165 Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
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 Selman Kelekçiler, Gün Matbaacılık employee
171 Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
172 Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
173 Veli Büyükşahin, TV10 executive
174 Veli Haydar Güleç, TV10 executive
175 Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
176 Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
177 Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
178 Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
179 Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
180 Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
181 Zehra Doğan, Jinha
182 Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter