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
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