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17 Jun 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 17 Jun 2019 Turkey

Turkey Charges Bloomberg Reporters with Undermining the Economy

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner CPJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ IPI
On 13 June 2019, a criminal court in Istanbul accepted an indictment charging the Bloomberg reporters Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalınkılıç with undermining Turkey's economic stability, and requesting that they be imprisoned, according to their employer and media reports. The indictment comes after the Turkish banking regulator BDDK filed a criminal complaint, according to reports. The charges stem from an article written by Karakaya and Yalınkılıç and published on 10 August 2018 describing how Turkish authorities and banks were responding to the currency shock. The indictment also names 36 people who allegedly shared and commented on the Bloomberg report via social media, according to reports. They are accused of sharing "false, wrong, or deceptive information" to affect the markets. Under Turkey's Capital Market Law No. 107/2, the charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, or a judicial fine. Bloomberg's editor-in-chief John Micklethwait condemned the indictment and said that the journalists had reported "fairly and accurately on newsworthy events." The criminal court is due to hear the case on 20 September 2019.
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03 Jun 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 31 Oct 2016 Turkey

Turkey: Arrest of At Least 12 Employees of Cumhuriyet Newspaper

6 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
On 31 October 2016, Turkish police detained at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Turkey's largest secular, left-leaning paper, and one of the few publications that continues to criticise the government. The detained media workers are accused of membership of, and committing crimes on behalf of, two terrorist organisations: the Kurdistan Workers’ party and the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which the government accuses of being behind the failed coup attempt. According to media reports, prosecutors also issued detention warrants for two of the newspaper’s executives, who are both currently abroad.

Following police raids, the following people were taken into custody: Murat Sabuncu (Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief); Güray Öz (Cumhuriyet board executive and columnist); Aydın Engin (former editor-in-chief of the newspaper); Hikmet Çetinkaya (columnist); Eser Sevinç, Hakan Kara, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Önder Çelik (all board members of the Cumhuriyet Foundation); Turhan Günay (Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper’s book supplement); and columnist Kadri Gürsel, who is also the head of the International Press Institute’s Turkey office.
Updates
New 03 Jun 2019
On 29 May 2019, Kadri Gürsel was sent to Metris Prison to begin a 30-month prison sentence upheld by the court of appeal in February 2019. Later the same day, the journalist was released from prison as his request for probation was accepted.
New 03 May 2019
On 2 May 2019, the Constitutional court ruled that the rights of journalists Kadri Gürsel and Murat Aksoy were violated. (The court has been reviewing rights violations for those arrested after the coup attempt, but its rulings do not automatically affect criminal sentences.) On 2 May 2019, the appeals based on the “breach of fundamental rights” were overruled for Akin Atalay, the former publisher of Cumhuriyet; Murat Sabuncu, Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief; Ahmet Şık, a reporter; and Bulent Utku, a high-level editorial manager.
29 Apr 2019
On 25 April 2019, six journalists and executives surrendered to Kandıra prison in Kocaeli province after an appeals confirmation of their jail sentences was officially communicated to Turkey’s National Judicial Informatics System (UYAP) on 19 April. Defendants – Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara and Emre İper – returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentences.
15 Apr 2019
On 19 February 2019, an Istanbul appeals court confirmed the sentences handed down by a lower criminal court in April 2018. Journalists in the case with sentences greater than five years have the possibility of further appeal. Lower sentences are considered final under Turkish law.
26 Apr 2018
On 25 April 2018, an Istanbul court convicted 13 journalists and executives of Cumhuriyet of aiding terrorist organizations and sentenced them to jail terms ranging between two and seven years. The court placed the journalists on probation and banned them from traveling until the appeals process has ended. The judge also ordered the conditional release of Cumhuriyet chairman Akin Atalay. The court acquitted three of the defendants : Bülent Yener, a former board member, Turhan Günay, chief editor of the daily's literary supplement, and Günseli Özatalay, the chief accountant.
12 Mar 2018
On 9 March 2018, the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul ruled for the release of Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık pending the conclusion of the trial. Sabuncu and Şık remain under judicial control. The daily's chairman, Akın Atalay, however, was remanded in custody until the next hearing, scheduled for 16 March, during which the prosecutor is expected to submit his final opinion.
29 Dec 2017
On 29 December 2017 an Istanbul Court ruled to release Emre İper. He remains under judicial control and an international travel ban.
25 Dec 2017
On 25 December 2017 a judge at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse ruled to keep Ahmet Şık, Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu in jail for at least two more months until the next session of the trial on 9 March 2018.
26 Sep 2017
On 25 September 2017, the Court ruled to release Kadri Gürsel, though he remains on trial on charges of links to terror groups. After completing formalities, he was released from the Silivri prison. The Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu. Their next hearing is scheduled for 31 October 2017.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017, a Turkish court confirmed Ahmet Şık's detention. The next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017 a Turkish court Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Murat Sabuncu and Kadri Gürsel. Their next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
31 Jul 2017
On 28 July 2017, an Istanbul court released seven Cumhuriyet journalists and executives. Five are to remain under arrest including Ahmet Şık. The court also decided that additional criminal charges would be brought against Ahmet Şık for his defense statement.
15 Jun 2017
On 14 June 2017, after 30 days of imprisonment, Oğuz Güven was released pending trial. His next hearing is scheduled to take place on 14 September 2017.
16 May 2017
On 12 May 2017, Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online edition of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, was detained as part of a criminal investigation led by the Bureau of Press Offences of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul. On 15 May, Güven appeared before a judge, who ordered that he be held in pre-trial detention, on “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “defamation against a person’s memory” charges. Both charges against the journalist are solely based on the title of a news report published and tweeted by Cumhuriyet on an online account about the accidental death of a prosecutor. During the hearing, the journalist repeated that the controversial tweet (“the prosecutor who sought the first warrants against FETÖ was cut apart by a truck”) was only visible during 55 seconds, was immediately corrected (“the prosecutor lost life in a serious car accident”) and is one of the 300 tweets per day written by the journalist, that he cannot be suspected of doing anything to support any terrorist organisation. Oğuz Güven is the 12th Cumhuriyet professional arrested by the Turkish authorities on charges of supporting two illegal organisations (PKK and FETÖ) based on opinions and articles published by the newspaper.
19 Apr 2017
On 7 April 2017, Cumhuriyet’s Finance Manager Emre İper was taken into custody during a midnight raid on his home by police. He was arrested on 19 April on charges of using ByLock, a communications app allegedly used by the Fethullah Gülen network and “being member of a terrorsit organisation”.
11 Jan 2017
On 29 December 2016, the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was detained by Turkish authorities on charges of " propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation" and "openly denigrating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs and its military and police". Şık tweeted that he was being detained due to a single tweet; a news report stated that the detention also related to various reporting elements including an interview with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s administrator published in Cumhuriyet daily in March 2015. On 30 December, Ahmet Şık was officially put under arrest on charges of spreading propaganda for the PKK, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and for the Fethullah Gülen group, an Islamic network the Turkish judiciary refers to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). All three groups are outlawed in Turkey. A report published by the Cumhuriyet claimed that Ahmet Şık had been denied drinking water for three days at Metris Prison, where he was kept before being transferred to Silivri Prison on 3 January. The Justice Ministry's Directorate General for Correctional Facilities released a statement denying the allegation, the official statement claimed Şık was given 1.5 liters of bottled water on 1 January. The Turkish authorities own regulation states that "any inmate has to right to have on daily basis 200 liters of cold water and 50 liters of hot water". Ahmet Şık also claimed that he was denied access to newspaper, pen and books in the cell. Ahmet Şık's access to his lawyers (Can Atalay and Tora Pekin) and family members were also denied during the first 5 days of his detention because the authorities couldn't record the conversation between the lawyers and their client. Şık was previously arrested in March 2011 in relation to an investigation into the Oda TV news website. He spent a year in prison for an unpublished critical book about the Gülen movement supported, at that time, by the AKP government. Today, the journalist is charged with doing propaganda for the same movement.
14 Nov 2016
On 12 November 2016, the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet, Akin Atalay, was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist organization” , upon his arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. A detention warrant had been issued for him on 30 October while he was abroad.
08 Nov 2016
On 5 November 2016, nine journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily were placed under formal arrest by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace. The daily’s columnists Aydın Engin and Hikmet Çetinkaya were released by the court pending trial. A travel ban was imposed on them. On 4 November 2016, Günseli Özaltay, the accounting manager of the newspaper, and former accounting manager Bülent Yener were released.
Follow-ups
29 Apr 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative appalled by return to prison of former Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey, calls for their immediate release.
04 May 2018
Secretary General deeply worried by the chilling effect the heavy criminal sentences may have on media freedom
26 Apr 2018
OSCE representative welcomes release of Akın Atalay in Turkey but strongly condemns prison sentences for Cumhuriyet journalists and staff.
23 Mar 2018
All Cumhuriyet journalists must be released, says OSCE representative Désir following continued detention of CEO Atalay
12 Mar 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes the release of two Cumhuriyet journalists, calls on Turkey to free Akın Atalay and drop charges against all defendants
19 Jan 2018
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
26 Sep 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes the release of Kadri Gürsel and calls for release of imprisoned Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey.
12 Sep 2017
OSCE Media Freedom Representative renews calls on Turkey to urgently release jailed journalists.
31 Jul 2017
Cumhuriyet trial interim court decision shows urgency to drop charges and release all imprisoned Turkish journalists, says OSCE Media Freedom Representative.
25 Jul 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
12 Jun 2017
On 8 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights communicated to the Turkish Government the case of Sabuncu and Others v. Turkey. The applicants, ten journalists from the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet placed in police custody and subsequently in pre-trial detention on suspicion of having committed offences on behalf of terrorist organisations and disseminating propaganda for them, complained about their pre-trial detention and its duration, and also submit that there has been a breach of their freedom of expression. They further allege that their detention is a sanction against them for criticising the government and amounts to politically-motivated judicial harassment. They rely in particular on Article 5 § 1, 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security / right to speedy review of the lawfulness of detention), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights).
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
31 Oct 2016
Statement from Secretary General Jagland expressing his concern about state of emergency measures and freedom of expression in Turkey
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (6):

Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Emre İper
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20 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 May 2019 Turkey

Journalist İdris Özyol Severely Beaten Up

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
On 15 May 2019, Turkish journalist İdris Özyol was assaulted by unidentified men outside his newspaper’s building, Akdeniz'de Yeni Yüzyıl, in Antalya, southwest Turkey. He was hospitalised due to injuries to his head, hands and chest. According to reports, Özyol previously received threats from a local politician, in retaliation to his journalistic work. In a letter addressed to the Turkish President, 20 international media freedom organisations urged him to openly condemn the attacks on journalists and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
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20 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 May 2019 Turkey

Journalist İdris Özyol Severely Beaten Up

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
On 15 May 2019, Turkish journalist İdris Özyol was assaulted by unidentified men outside his newspaper’s building, Akdeniz'de Yeni Yüzyıl, in Antalya, southwest Turkey. He was hospitalised due to injuries to his head, hands and chest. According to reports, Özyol previously received threats from a local politician, in retaliation to his journalistic work. In a letter addressed to the Turkish President, 20 international media freedom organisations urged him to openly condemn the attacks on journalists and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
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17 May 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 01 Aug 2018 Turkey

Turkish Cypriot Journalists Sener Levent and Ali Osman Facing Charges in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
On 31 July 2018, the Public Prosecutor's Office in Ankara filed criminal charges against reporter and editor Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman of Cyprus daily newspaper "Afrika" over criticism of Turkey military operations in Syria and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The journalists have been informed by the police officers in Northern Cyprus. The first case is filed over the publication concerning the Turkish military operation in Afrin, comparing it to Turkish occupation of Cyprus, published on January 2018. The second case is filed over an article of Levent, "Zorba the Cypriot", criticising the Turkish government, published on February 2018.
Updates
New 17 May 2019
On 16 May 2019, a Northern Cypriot court acquitted Afrika newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Şener Levent, Director Ali Osman Dabak on charges of “defaming a foreign politician”. The Court neither found grounds to constitute the prosecutor’s claims of “damaging relations between Northern Cyprus and Turkey”, ruling that the articles and cartoons in dispute fall within the scope of freedom of expression.
Follow-ups
06 Aug 2018
Legal charges initiated by Turkey against Turkish Cypriot journalists Şener Levent and Ali Osman should be dropped, urges OSCE Representative
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17 May 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 27 Nov 2015 Turkey

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
On 26 November 2015, at the request of Istanbul prosecutor’s office, Can Dündar, editor of the daily Cumhuriyet and its Ankara representative Erdem Gül were taken before a judge and placed in pre-trial detention on charges of membership of a terrorist organization, espionage and divulging state secrets.

Dündar and Gül were investigated in connection with an article published in May 2015 about allegations that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had been delivering arms to rebels in Syria. The newspaper produced a video and photos to support the claim.

In June 2015, after Cumhuriyet published the video, President Erdoğan had personally filed a complaint accusing Dündar of spying, and publicly vowed that he would ‘not get away with it.’ Since then, Cumhuriyet and Dündar were being investigated on the basis of a criminal complaint referring to several articles of the Turkish penal code. The imprisonment of the two journalists is additional evidence that the Turkish authorities are suppressing independent journalism in Turkey.

In April 2015, Can Dündar was already the subject of an alert on the Council of Europe platform, regarding his prosecution on charges of insulting Turkey’s President Erdoğan and violating the confidentiality of an investigation. Dündar had published a series of articles about a corruption investigation by prosecutors in which close associates of Mr Erdoğan were implicated.

The high number of lawsuits initiated on behalf of President Erdoğan against journalists critical of the government are consistent with a concerted attempt to intimidate his opponents to remain silent about issues which are manifestly of public interest.
Updates
New 17 May 2019
On 15 May 2019, the Istanbul 14th High criminal court dismissed the case of Erdem Gül as it was opened after the 4 months period prescribed in the Press Law regarding statute of limitations. Can Dündar was excluded from the retrial while authorities await his arrest.
New 17 May 2019
On 15 May 2019, the Istanbul 14th High criminal court dismissed the case of Erdem Gül as it was opened after the 4 months period prescribed in the Press Law regarding statute of limitations.
17 Jul 2018
On 16 July 2018, the 14th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul ruled to acquit Erdem Gul of charges of “publishing state secrets”. Her remains on trial in another case over the MIT trucks stories, in which he is charges of ‘helping a terrorist organisation’.
28 Jul 2017
On 28 July 2017, an Istanbul court issued an interim judgment in the trial of 17 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives. This judgment states that the arrest warrant formerly issued against Can Dündar, who is tried in absentia, remains further in effect.
01 Jun 2016
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court’s ruling from May 2016 was appealed by the two journalists. The case is pending before the Supreme Court of Appeals. Can Dündar fled the country to seek asylum in Germany. Erdem Gül is waiting for the appeal verdict.
10 May 2016
On 6 May 2016, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court convicted Can Dündar and Erdem Gül --the former for ‘obtaining and revealing state secrets’, the latter for ‘revealing state secrets’. They were respectively sentenced to five years and 10 months and five years in prison. Shortly before the Court's decision earlier that day, Dundar survived an attempted shooting where the gunman instead wounded another journalist reporting on the Court case. Both journalists were acquitted of charges of trying to overthrow the government and espionage. But the Court ordered that the charges of “knowingly and willfully” helping a terrorist organization must be separated from the trial in order to await a verdict in a separate case against the two men on charges of supporting terrorist organisations. The Court has also ordered the lifting of the ban on the two journalists’ rights to leave the country and ruled that their political rights, including the right to vote, should be restored.
29 Mar 2016
On 25 March 2016, an Istanbul court ruled for the whole trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül to be held in camera. The hearing was adjourned until 1st April 2016.
26 Feb 2016
Can Dündar and Erdem Gül were freed in the early hours of 26 February 2016 after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that their detentions had violated their rights.
25 Feb 2016
On 25 February 2016, by a 12-3 vote, the plenary of the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that Can Dündar and Erdem Gül's right to freedom and security, right to express and disseminate thought, and the freedom of press as guaranteed by Articles 19, 26 and 28 of the Constitution had been violated.
28 Jan 2016
On 27 January 2016, during a court hearing in Istanbul, prosecution demanded “aggravated life imprisonment and imprisonment up to 30 years” for Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
01 Dec 2015
RSF launches international appeal for release of ​Cumhuriyet journalists
State replies
15 Dec 2015
Statement of the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe to the 1242nd meeting of the Ministrers' Deputies
07 Dec 2015
Response of the Turkish Government (information provided by the Ministry of Justice)
Follow-ups
25 Jul 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
13 May 2016
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the case of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his address to the Committee of Ministers on 11 May 2016.
10 Mar 2016
The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expresses its serious concern at recent developments in Turkey with respect to restrictions on media freedom and access to pluralistic information, challenges to the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
03 Mar 2016
Secretary General welcomes the release of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his address to the Committee of Ministers
26 Feb 2016
Secretary General Jagland welcomes the release of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
14 Jan 2016
CoE Secretary General mentions the continuing detention of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his allocution to the Committee of Ministers about the outcome of the meeeting of the informal working group on freedom of expression in Turkey
03 Dec 2015
CoE Secretary General focuses on the arrest of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his address to the Committee of Ministers
30 Nov 2015
Hürriyet Daily News article quoting the statement by the spokesperson of European Council Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland
27 Nov 2015
OSCE Representative condemns arrest of journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, urges Turkey not to proceed with charges
27 Nov 2015
Ingebjørg Godskesen and Nataša Vuckovic, co-rapporteurs for PACE’s post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey question arrests of leading journalists
27 Nov 2015
Statement by Nils Muiznieks, CoE Commissioner for Human Rights
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
Disclaimer
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14 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 24 Feb 2017 Turkey

"Die Welt" Correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel Detained

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
Germany daily Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel was taken into custody in Istanbul on 14 February 2017. Mr Yücel, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, is accused by Turkish authorities of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information, charges refuted by the defendant as well as media organisations. The journalist had reported – like six other journalists working for national news outlets detained at the end of December 2016 – on emails that the hacker collective RedHack had acquired from the private email account of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak who is President Erdoğan's son-in-law. The emails allegedly revealed media outlets' control and the use of fake Twitter accounts to influence the public in favour of the ruling AK party.
Updates
New 14 May 2019
On 10 May 2019, Deniz Yücel presented his defense statement at Amtsgericht Berlin-Tiergarten Court. The journalist alleged he suffered psychological and physical violence while in prison. This statement will be relayed to the 32nd High Criminal Court in İstanbul.
New 10 May 2019
On 8 May 2019, a Turkish Appellate court has overturned the Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court decision rejecting the compensation claim filed by Deniz Yücel on the grounds that his year-long imprisonment in Turkey has been unlawful. His case for compensation will be heard again.
15 Apr 2019
On 11 April 2019, the court adjourned the next hearing to 16 July, allowing Deniz Yücel's defense statement to be heard in a Berlin rogatory court on 10 May 2019.
26 Sep 2018
On 25 September 2018, the Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court rejected Deniz Yücel’s request for compensation for his year-long imprisonment in Turkey.
16 Feb 2018
On 16 February 2018, a criminal court in Istanbul ordered the release of Deniz Yücel pending trial. On the same day, prosecutors presented an indictment seeking up to 18 years in jail for the journalist on charges of "spreading terrorist propaganda" and "stirring enmity".
30 Mar 2017
On 30 March 2017, following the rejection of the appeal, Yücel’s lawyers filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court.
28 Feb 2017
On 27 February 2017, Deniz Yücel was arrested after an Istanbul court ordered him to be jailed pending trial. His lawyers have appealed against his detention.
Follow-ups
16 Feb 2018
OSCE Media freedom representative welcomes the release of Deniz Yücel, adding that all charges against him should be dropped.
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
02 Mar 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calls on Turkey to decriminalize journalistic work following arrest of Die Welt journalist
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14 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 24 Feb 2017 Turkey

"Die Welt" Correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel Detained

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
Germany daily Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel was taken into custody in Istanbul on 14 February 2017. Mr Yücel, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, is accused by Turkish authorities of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information, charges refuted by the defendant as well as media organisations. The journalist had reported – like six other journalists working for national news outlets detained at the end of December 2016 – on emails that the hacker collective RedHack had acquired from the private email account of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak who is President Erdoğan's son-in-law. The emails allegedly revealed media outlets' control and the use of fake Twitter accounts to influence the public in favour of the ruling AK party.
Updates
New 14 May 2019
On 10 May 2019, Deniz Yücel presented his defense statement at Amtsgericht Berlin-Tiergarten Court. The journalist alleged he suffered psychological and physical violence while in prison. This statement will be relayed to the 32nd High Criminal Court in İstanbul.
New 10 May 2019
On 8 May 2019, a Turkish Appellate court has overturned the Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court decision rejecting the compensation claim filed by Deniz Yücel on the grounds that his year-long imprisonment in Turkey has been unlawful. His case for compensation will be heard again.
15 Apr 2019
On 11 April 2019, the court adjourned the next hearing to 16 July, allowing Deniz Yücel's defense statement to be heard in a Berlin rogatory court on 10 May 2019.
26 Sep 2018
On 25 September 2018, the Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court rejected Deniz Yücel’s request for compensation for his year-long imprisonment in Turkey.
16 Feb 2018
On 16 February 2018, a criminal court in Istanbul ordered the release of Deniz Yücel pending trial. On the same day, prosecutors presented an indictment seeking up to 18 years in jail for the journalist on charges of "spreading terrorist propaganda" and "stirring enmity".
30 Mar 2017
On 30 March 2017, following the rejection of the appeal, Yücel’s lawyers filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court.
28 Feb 2017
On 27 February 2017, Deniz Yücel was arrested after an Istanbul court ordered him to be jailed pending trial. His lawyers have appealed against his detention.
Follow-ups
16 Feb 2018
OSCE Media freedom representative welcomes the release of Deniz Yücel, adding that all charges against him should be dropped.
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
02 Mar 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calls on Turkey to decriminalize journalistic work following arrest of Die Welt journalist
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07 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 09 Jan 2019 Turkey

Journalist Pelin Ünker Sentenced to Jail for Writing on "Paradise Papers"

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index IPI
On 8 January, 2019, a court in Istanbul sentenced journalist Pelin Ünker to 13 months and 15 days in prison, along with an additional fine. The sentence, along with a fine of 8,600 Turkish lira (€1,370) was imposed for "insulting and slandering a public official." Ünker's report appeared in Turkey's secular, left-leaning Cumhuriyet newspaper, for which she no longer works. Former Turkish Prime minister Binali Yıldırım and his two sons sued Ünker in November 2017 over a report about his sons' alleged ties to five offshore companies in Malta. Pelin Ünker, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) was found guilty of “defamation and insult” for writing about companies in Malta owned by Binali Yıldırım and his sons. The journalist was not immediately jailed and is still able to appeal which is what she will do pointing out that the Yıldırım family had admitted that articles about their Maltese businesses were accurate. Binali Yıldırım is currently the speaker of the Turkish Parliament and is set to run as candidate for mayor of Istanbul for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Updates
New 07 May 2019
On 6 May 2019, the Istanbul Criminal Chamber of the Regional Court of Justice (Appeals Court) dropped the prison sentence against Turkish journalist Pelin Ünker on the grounds that the complaint was barred by Turkey’s statute of limitations. It upheld the fine.
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06 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Jul 2016 Turkey

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

62 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI
On 25 July 2016, the Turkish anti-terrorism Prosecutor Irfan Fidan has today issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists in the wake of the failed coup against President Erdoğan. According to Anatolian News Agency, the journalists targeted are: Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Dönmez, Ali Akkuş, Arda Akın, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bilal Şahin, Bülent Ceyhan, Bülent Mumay, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cevheri Güven, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erkan Akkuş, Ertuğrul Erbaş, Fatih Akalan, Fatih Yağmur, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, İnan Kızılkaya, Kamil Maman, Kerim Gün, Levent Kenez, Mahmut Hazar, Mehmet Gündem, Metin Yıkar, Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mürsel Genç, Selahattin Sevi, Seyid Kılıç, Turan Görüryılmaz, Ufuk Şanlı, Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Yakup Sağlam and Yakup Çetin.

Among those targeted by the warrants was prominent journalist and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak who was fired from the pro-government Sabah daily in 2013 for criticising ministers caught up in a corruption scandal, NTV and CNN-Turk reported. On 27 July 2016, journalist Nuriye Akman was taken into custody.

On 27 July 2016, Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 47 former executives and columnists of Zaman newspaper. Those named in the warrants include the following former columnists and executives : Osman Nuri Öztürk, Ali Akbulut, Bülent Keneş, Mehmet Kamış, Hüseyin Döğme, Süleyman Sargın, Veysel Ayhan, Şeref Yılmaz, Mehmet Akif Afşar, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Kardıç, Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Sevgi Akarçeşme, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ali Bulaç, Bülent Korucu, İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye Ural, Hamit Çiçek, Adil Gülçek, Hamit Bilici, Şenol Kahraman, Melih Kılıç, Nevzat Güner, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Sedat Yetişkin, Oktay Vızvız, Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, Behçet Akyar, Murat Avcıoğlu, Yüksel Durgut, Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, Hakan Taşdelen, Osman Nuri Arslan, and Ömer Karakaş.

On the same day, Zaman daily columnist, Şahin Alpay, has been detained after police raided his house in the early morning hours. Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu, who used to work for Zaman and Today’s Zaman and currently reports for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, was taken by police from her home early on that day too. She has reported in detail about issues concerning the Turkey armed forces, their financial assets, and shortcomings in terms of transparency and accountability. She has suffered for several years from poor health and has need of assured access to medical attention.
Updates
New 06 May 2019
On 3 May 2019, the Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected the individual applications of Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan, ruling that there was no violation of their rights during their pre-trial detention and prosecution. On 3 May 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Ali Bulaç, saying his right to freedom of expression and personal security had been violated. (The court has been reviewing rights violations for those arrested after the coup attempt, but its rulings do not automatically affect criminal sentences.)
19 Feb 2019
On 19 February 2019, the 3rd Penal Chamber (the court of appeal) of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld the verdict on the Cumhuriyet newspaper' case. This is the final judgment for the defendants who were sentenced to prison for less than five years: journalist Kadri Gursel and lawyer Bulent Utku will not go back to prison due to time already served ; journalists Hakan Kara and Guray Oz, cartoonist Musa Kart, lawyer Mustafa Kemal Gungor, board member Onder Celik, and accountant Emre Iper will return to prison to complete their sentences. Editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, journalists Ahmet Sik, Hikmet Cetinkaya, Orhan Erinc, Akin Atalay and Aydin Engin, all sentenced to more than five years, will appeal against their sentences.
08 Jan 2019
On 4 January 2019, Murat Aksoy was released to serve out the remaining months of a two-year jail term on probation.
07 Dec 2018
Journalist Murat Aksoy, who was given a 25-month prison sentence earlier this year reported to the Istanbul Courthouse on 22 November 2018 to serve that prison sentence, which was upheld in October 2018 by an appellate court. Aksoy was arrested and sent to the Metris Prison.
15 Nov 2018
On 14 November 2018, Uşak 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Ali Ünal to 19 years and six months in jail on charge of leading a terrorist group. The Court acquitted him of "attempt to overthrow the constitutional order".
02 Nov 2018
Columnist and author Mehmet Gündem, who had worked for several newspapers and outlets such as the now-closed Zaman, Gündem, Tercüman, Yeni Şafak, TRT Haber, and Milliyet, was arrested on 9 November 2017 as part of an operation against the Journalists’ and Writers’ Foundation (GYV), which was shut down by decree law. Gündem is charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation”, together with two other journalists, Behram Kılıç and Nuh Gönültaş. The latter is also detained in relation to the same operation against GYV. Kılıç was released on 1 November 2018, pending trial. Gündem appeared in court for the first time on 14 August 2018, after 10 months in pretrial detention. He is accused of using “ByLock”, an encrypted-communications application for mobiles said to have been used by followers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. Gündem’s next scheduled hearing is 8 May 2019, where the court has requested an expert report on digital tools to be submitted. Gündem was previously detained in July 2016 as part of arrest warrants for 42 journalists issued after the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016.
26 Oct 2018
On 24 October 2018, the 2nd Criminal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice ruled on appeals of a ruling handed down by the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court on 8 March 2018 lodged by 25 journalists, including 19 jailed journalists. The Chamber upheld the conviction of defendants Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Seyit Kılıç, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Davut Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız and Cuma Ulus. The court in addition ruled for a continuation of the imprisonment of the 19 journalists. In its decision, the chamber also rejected the appeals of prosecutors against lower court decisions for columnist and singer Atilla Taş and for journalist Murat Aksoy.
03 Oct 2018
On 2 October 2018, the appeal court upheld aggravated life sentences for Nazlı Ilıcak, Fevzi Yazıcı and Yakup Şimşek.
06 Jul 2018
On 6 July 2018, an Istanbul court has sentenced six former Zaman journalists to prison sentences on charges of being members of a terror organisation, while acquitting five others of all charges. The Court ordered to release Ahmet Turan Alkan and İbrahim Karayeğen under judicial control, pending appeal.
25 May 2018
On 24 May 2018, a court in İstanbul has sentenced Yeni Asya daily editor Naciye Nur Ener Kılınç to 7,5 years in prison on charge of membership of a terrorist organisation and ruled for the continuation of her house arrest pending appeal trial.
14 May 2018
On 11 May 2018, the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul in its interim decision ruled to release columnist Ali Bulaç and Zaman’s former Responsible Managing Editor Mehmet Özdemir from pretrial detention, while ordering the lifting of Şahin Alpay’s house arrest. The court also imposed overseas travel bans on both Bulaç and Özdemir and ordered judicial control measures for those three defendants. The next hearings are scheduled for 7 and 8 June.
10 May 2018
On 30 April 2018, Cuma Kaya,, Alaattin Güner and Hüseyin Turan, were sentenced to 5 years in prison each for "aiding a [terrorist] organisation willingly and knowingly without being a member," but were released on probation pending appeal. Murat Avcıoğlu was sentenced to 3 years and 45 days in prison for "aiding a [terrorist] organisation willingly and knowingly without being a member" and released on probation pending appeal. Zafer Özsoy, a Cihan News Agency broadcast technician, was acquitted of all charges,
30 Apr 2018
On 24 April 2018, a court in the southern city of Antalya sentenced to prison Tuncer Çetinkaya, a former reporter of Zaman newspaper and Cihan News Agency, for 7 years and 6 months on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organisation". The court ordered Çetinkaya released on probation to receive treatment for kidney failure.
29 Mar 2018
On 28 March 2018, a court issued its verdict releasing Ramazan Alkan for lack of evidence.
19 Mar 2018
Journalist Şahin Alpay was released from Silivri Prison at night on Friday 16 March 2018. He remains under on house arrest.
19 Mar 2018
On 15 March 2018, the Turkish Constitutional Court re-evaluated Şahin Alpay’s application. This 2nd application was filed after the Constitutional Court’s first ruling was snubbed by local courts in January 2018. The Court reiterated its former ruling that the journalist’s rights had been violated and that he should be freed. Turkish top court ruling comes as European Court of Human Rights is set to announce its verdict on the case on 20th March.
09 Mar 2018
On 8 March 2018, the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court sentenced defendants Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Multlu Çölgeçen, Seyid Kılıç, Ünal Tanık, Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Davut Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız, Cuma Ulus to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charge of “being a member of an illegal organisation”. The court ruled for the re-arrest of journalist Akkuş, who had been released last April. Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Yakup Çetin, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç and Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on the same charge. 13 defendants were acquitted of “coup attempt” charges. The court sentenced Atilla Taş and Murat Aksoy for “knowingly and willingly aiding an illegal organization as a non-member” while not being “a part of the hierarchical structure within the organization”. They were respectively condemned to 3 years 1 month and 15 days in prison and 2 years and 1 month. Considering the time in prison they already served, the court rejected the prosecutor’s request for the re-arrest of Taş and Aksoy and removed the obligation to sign in at a police station regularly. Yet it ruled for the continuation of their travel ban.
21 Feb 2018
On 20 February 2018, Nur Ener Kılınç was released pending trial and placed under house arrest. Her next hearing is set for 19 Aprill.
16 Feb 2018
On 16 Febuary 2018, Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek and Fevzi Yazıcı were handed aggravated life sentences.
15 Feb 2018
Ibrahim Balta was released on 6 February 2018 for health reasons. His trial goes on.
16 Jan 2018
On 12 January 2018, after reviewing the reasoned judgement of the Constitutional Court, the Istanbul 13th Criminal Court overruled the Constitutional Court’s verdict by saying it overstepped its jurisdiction and usurped the Criminal Court’s authority. On 15 January 2017, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court rejected Şahin Alpay’s appeal for release.
12 Jan 2018
On 11 January 2018 Turkey`s Constitutional Court ruled to release Şahin Alpay. His release was halted by Istanbul`s 13th High Criminal Court, which announced that his detention would be reviewed after the Constitutional Court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated.
29 Nov 2017
On 24 November 2017, Resul Cengiz was released on probation pending trial.
22 Nov 2017
On 21 November 2017, the 14th High Criminal Court of Ankara sentenced Ayşenur Parıldak, a correspondent for Zaman newspaper, to seven years and six months in prison for being a member of an armed terrorist organisation.
22 Nov 2017
On 8 November 2017, an Istanbul court ordered the release of Izmir-based journalist Bekir Gökmen Ulu from the Sözcü daily. The journalist is also under an international travel ban.
30 Oct 2017
On 12 October 2017, the Mersin 8th High Criminal Court released under judicial control Şirin Çoban and İlker İlkan pending trial
27 Oct 2017
On 12 October 2017, the Mersin 8th High Criminal Court released under judicial control Şirin Çoban and İlker İlkan pending trial.
25 Oct 2017
Murat Aksoy was released from pretrial detention by an İstanbul court on 24 October 2017. According to the decision of the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court, Aksoy was released after the court determined that the suspect had no bank account with Bank Asya and never used the ByLock mobile phone application, both considered by Turkish authorities to be evidence of links to the Gülen movement.
23 Oct 2017
On 17 October 2017, the Eskişehir 2nd court of severe crimes sentenced Mehmet Kuru to six years and three months' imprisonment for 'membership in a terrorist organization'.
15 Oct 2017
Murat Dağdeviren, owner of the Demokrat Gebze newspaper, was arrested on 31 July 2016. On 10 October 2017, he was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charge of membership to a terror organization. Demokrat Gebze newspaper was shut down by decree.
05 Oct 2017
Yüksel Durgut was released pending trial for health reasons on 29 September 2017.
29 Sep 2017
Abdullah Özyurt was released on 15 September 2017.
29 Sep 2017
On 22 September 2017, Mediha Olgun was released.
18 Sep 2017
Burak Ekici, the online editor for daily newspaper Birgün, was ordered arrested on 16 August 2017 on accusations of links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Ekici was detained for allegedly having used mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement.
07 Sep 2017
Mehmet Dener and Muhammet Taşçılar were released on 1 September 2017.
23 Aug 2017
On 18 August 2017, the 25th court for severe crime of Istanbul released pending trial Cihan Acar, journalist for Bugün, and Aksiyon magazine journalist, Bünyamin Köseli, prosecuted for «coup attempt».
21 Aug 2017
On 18 August 2017, Ali Ahmet Böken, a former TRT News coordinator and former columnist for the now-closed Samanyolu TV, was arrested. Accused of “membership in a terrorist organisation”, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
17 Aug 2017
On 10 August 2017, the police in Istanbul detained Cüneyt Seza Özkan, former news editor at the shuttered Samanyolu TV, according to news reports. Mr Özkan was one of 35 journalists and media workers whose arrest a Turkish court mandated the week before as part of a sweeping purge of suspected followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, according to reports. Özkan’s arrest is part of an investigation into journalists and others who allegedly used the Bylock app, according to press reports. Authorities allege that use of the encrypted messaging app is proof of FETÖ/PDY membership.
28 Jul 2017
On 19 July 2017, Lokman Erdoğan was released pending trial.
25 Jul 2017
Hülya Karakaya was released on 18 July 2017 and placed under judiciary control.
20 Jul 2017
Nizamettin İzgi, owner of the Batman newspaper, was arrested on 11 December 2016. On 17 July 2017, a court ordered his release under judicial control.
01 Jun 2017
On 27 May 2017, a Turkish court formally arrested Mediha Olgun (internet editor) and Gökmen Ulu (press correspondent in Izmir), two opposition journalists working for Sözcü daily newspaper for "a story and photographs in the paper revealing where Erdogan was spending his vacation a day before the coup, and a crossword puzzle with the president’s name hidden in it", according to state-run Anadolu news agency. The two jailed Sözcü journalists face charges including “knowingly aiding and abetting the FETÖ terrorist organisation without being part of its hierarchical structure”, and “aiding the assassination attempt of the president”.
30 May 2017
Idris Okur, Cihan reporter in Çorum, was put in custody on 1 August 2016. His trial started in May 2017 before the Çorum 2nd Heavy Penal Court.
29 May 2017
Özkan Mayda was released on 24 May 2017.
26 May 2017
Olgun Matur was released on 29 March 2017 and was arrested again 3 days later on 2nd April. He was released again on 24 May 2017.
05 May 2017
On 4 may 2017, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, editor of the online platform @BursaMuhalif and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bursa Branch of the Contemporary Gazeteciler Derneği, was detained during an early morning raid on his home. The journalist was arrested by a Bursa court on 5 May on the charge of spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation on his social media account.
02 May 2017
İbrahim Karayeğen, an editor for Zaman newspaper, was ordered arrested on 26 September 2016 as part of the coup attempt investigation. Karayeğen, who was detained on 16 July 2016 in İstanbul Atatürk Airport was formally put on pre-trial detention on 24 July 2016 by an investigating judge at İstanbul No.2 Criminal Court of Peace. On 27 April 2017, an Istanbul court indicted Karayeğen and 29 other former Zaman Media Group employees with attempting to overthrow the government, the Constitution and Parliament. Each suspect risks three consecutive life sentences. The indictment also seeks another 15 years for each suspect on charges of being members of a terrorist organisation.
29 Apr 2017
In April 2017, the Izmir 13th High Criminal Courts ruled to release Rabia Özkaya pending trial taking into consideration the nature of the criminal charges and the time she spent in pre-trial detention. The Court also banned Özkaya from travelling abroad.
20 Apr 2017
Ali Akkuş was released on 31 March 2017 and detained a few hours later. He was released again on 15 April 2017.
18 Apr 2017
On 5 August 2016, Yakup Şimşek, the former Brand Marketing Manager of Zaman was taken into custody, as part of a probe into a controversial commercial allegedly hinting at an impending coup bid some nine months before the 15 July coup attempt. The indictment drafted on 14 April 2017 by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeks three consecutive life sentences for 16 people, including Şimşek, on coup charges. On 29 March 2016, court-appointed trustees had fired Simsek along with 5 colleagues from the daily newspapers Zaman and Today's Zaman, for "abusing the trust of the employer" and "acting against the good will and morals, as well as the company's image".
17 Apr 2017
Yakup Çetin and Yetkin Yıldız were released on 31 march 2017 and detained again a few hours later. They were re-arrested on 15 april 2017.
13 Apr 2017
On 11 April 2017 an indictment of journalists and columnists of Zaman daily was filed to the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. The indictment seeks three consecutive life sentences for the 30 defendants on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. 30 journalists, 21 of whom are already under arrest, were indicted. The defendants include former Zaman writers Mümtazer Türköne, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Şahin Alpay, Mustafa Ünal and Ali Bulaç. The journalists are charged with "attempting a coup d'Etat" for which the prosecutor demands three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Additionally, the prosecutor demands up to 15 years in prison for all the suspects on charges of "membership in a terrorist organisation." Anatolia News Agency reported that the defendants are Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Cuma Kaya, Faruk Akkan, Hakan Taşdelen, Hüseyin Belli, Hüseyin Turan, İbrahim Karayeğen, İsmail Küçük, Mehmet Özdemir, Murat Avcıoğlu, Mustafa Ünal, Onur Kutlu, Sedat Yetişkin, Şeref Yılmaz, Yüksel Durgut and Zafer Özsoy, Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyin Çelebi, Süleyman Sargın, Osman Nuri Arslan, Osman Nuri Öztürk, Lalezer Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz. Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ural and Cengiz are listed as suspects pending trial outside of prison.
05 Apr 2017
Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional burea Chief for the Med region, was arrested on 21 July 2016. He stands accused of preparing the ground for July 2016 coup attempt on behalf of the Hizmet movement. On 1 April 2017, Serhat Şeftali was ordered released on judicial probation by the Antalya 2nd High Criminal Court along 20 police officers and seven other journalists including Tuncer Çetinkaya and Olgun Matur pending the conclusion of their trial. However, the Antalya 3rd High Criminal Court ruled for the re-arrest of 16 of them, including Şeftali following objections to their release by prosecutors.
05 Apr 2017
Tuncer Çetinkaya was released on 29 March 2017 and re-arrested on 2 April.
04 Apr 2017
Abdurrahim Ersöz, Ömer Özdemir have been released on 30 March 2017.
31 Mar 2017
Kenan Baş was released on 29 March 2017.
10 Mar 2017
Nur Ener, the news-editor of Yeni Asya newspaper, was detained on 3 March 2017 as a part of the purge of journalists allegedly linked to the Gülen movement. Ener was formally arrested on 6 March 2017 for allegedly having used the mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which Turkish prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement. Ener is currently in pre-trial detention in the Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison in Istanbul.
06 Mar 2017
Erdem Mühirci was released on 28 February 2017.
28 Feb 2017
Vedat Demir was released on 18 February 2017.
03 Feb 2017
Hamza Günerigök, an anchor with of state-owned TRT, was arrested on 30 January 2017 by border security in military zone as he was trying to flee from Turkey to Greece in illegal ways. The authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Günerigök over his alleged link with the Gülen movement.
30 Jan 2017
On 18 January 2017, Ünal Tanık, owner and editor-in-chief of the Rota Haber news portal, which is among the media outlets closed down in the aftermath of the coup attempt, was arrested after being detained in Yalova the day before. The arrest verdict of İstanbul’s 11th Penal Court of Peace was based on the charge of alleged membership to the Gülen movement. Tanık faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
23 Dec 2016
Özcan Keser, reporter for state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Network (TRT), who had previously worked with Cihan News Agency, was detained on 12 August 2016. He was formally arrested on 19 December.
22 Dec 2016
Ömer Oruç, a former reporter of the Cihan News Agency, was arrested on 18 December 2016. Oruç is currently imprisoned in Isparta prison.
19 Dec 2016
Eda Şanlı was released pending trial on 18 December 2016.
16 Dec 2016
On 14 December 2016, Mehmet Anıl was released.
12 Dec 2016
Nadir Yücel, editor in chief of the Çorum Yıldız, was ordered arrested on 4 December 2016 as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked with Fethullah Gülen.
31 Oct 2016
Beytullah Özdemir, the Düzce representative for the newspaper Zaman, was ordered arrested on 27 October 2016 as part of the ongoing investigation into the failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
26 Oct 2016
As of 26 October 2016, the list of detained journalists was updated, adding the following 24 journalists, arrested under State of emergency as part of the coup investigation: Abdullah Özyurt, Ahmet Yavaş, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Parlak, Cumali Önal, Gültekin Avcı, Eda Şanlı, Halil İbrahim Mert, İbrahim Karayeğen, Kenan Baş, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Murat Aksoy, Nurullah Kaya, Nuri Durna, Olgun Matur, Osman Yakut, Özkan Mayda, Tuncer Çetinkaya, Vahit Yazgan, Vedat Demir and Yalçın Güler. Most of them were former Zaman journalists and executives. Additionally, 11 journalists, arrested during the State of emergency outside the coup probe, were also added to the list of detained journalists: Erdem Mühirci, Hülya Karakaya , İlker İlkan, Mehmet Anıl, Mehmet Arslan , Necmiye Alpay, Nizamettin Yılmaz, Rabia Özkaya, Selahattin Koyuncu , Şirin Çoban and Zeynel Abidin Bulut.
18 Oct 2016
As of 18 October 2016, 35 of the 89 journalists targeted by one of the 2 mass warrants issued after the coup attempt have been arrested : Abdullah Kılıç, Ali Akkuş, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, and Yakup Çetin - Şeref Yılmaz, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Ali Bulaç, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Murat Avcıoğlu, , Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, and Hakan Taşdelen. On Oct 12, former Taraf and Zaman columnists Lalezar Sariibrahimoglu and Nuriye (Akman) Ural were released from prison pending trial. An Istanbul Criminal Court decided that there were sufficient grounds for suspecting that both were members of the so-called Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure, or FETÖ/PDY, but also indicated that the case against them would be subject to further assessment to ascertain whether it could be shown to be strong enough to proceed. On that basis they were released from custody on appeal with certain legal controls. Both are banned from travelling abroad. To date, ten journalists have been released: Arda Akın, Bülent Mumay, Mehmet Gündem, and Yakup Sağlam -Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye (Akman) Ural and Osman Nuri Arslan.
05 Oct 2016
Ramazan Alkan, a journalist for Yeni Akit newspaper, was ordered arrested on 30 September 2016 for allegedly having used the mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which Turkish prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement.
12 Sep 2016
Mutlu Çölgeçen, an editor with Millet newspaper, was ordered arrested on 9 September 2016. Çölgeçen is one of 29 journalists charged in a case accusing them of having been part of the Gülen movement’s “media wing”. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
05 Sep 2016
On 2 September 2016, Ahmet Memiş, a reporter for Haberdar news website, was arrested as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Mr Memiş is accused of having been part of the Gülen movement’s “media wing” and is kept in detention at Silivri prison camp.
01 Sep 2016
In August 2016, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has ordered detention for 34 employers of TRT (Turkey's Public Broadcasting Service) claimed to be users of ByLock, an encrypted communication software allegedly used among members of the Gülen Community. According to Bianet, there are eight TRT employees among journalists taken into custody under the State of Emergency declared on July 20 and put behind bars. The names of the eight former TRT employees are as follows: Ahmet Yavaş (TRT radio Erzurum correspondent), Ali Yüce (TRT radio broadcasting manager), Ersin Şanlı (TRT domestic news manager), Hakan Aksel (TRT News and Sports Department Coordinator Assistant and Producer), Halil İbrahim Mert (TRT TV Erzurum cameraperson), Nuri Durna (TRT Erzurum correspondent), Yalçın Güler (TRT Erzurum correnspondent), Seyid Kılıç (TRT correspondent). Since August 2016, those eight journalists are kept in detention as part of the government’s investigation following the 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
29 Aug 2016
On 21 August 2016, a court in Van arraigned Ali Aşikar, a journalist working for the Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat, and ordered him jailed pending trial on charges of "committing crimes in the name of [terrorist] organizations" and possessing explosives. Mr Aşikar is kept in detention at Van M type prison since 28 August 2016.
25 Aug 2016
Burçin Dokgöz, a reporter for Zaman newspaper and for Cihan News Agency in the northern Anatolian city of Çorum, was ordered arrested on 21 August 2016.
24 Aug 2016
İsmail Efe, the press consultant of the İzmir Directorate of Tourism, was arrested as a part of ongoing operations against alleged followers of Fethullah Gülen following the failed coup attempt. Efe is currently imprisoned in Aliağa prison in İzmir
24 Aug 2016
Erol Yüksel, a vice president of the news department of state-owned TRT, was ordered arrested on 19 August 2016 as part of the investigation following the coup attempt.
15 Aug 2016
On 4 August 2016, Haşim Söylemez was released on probation pending trial.
15 Aug 2016
On 10 August 2016, Habervaktim site and founder of Vahdet newspaper, Yener Dönmez, was detained at the Habervaktim Ankara bureau, in the scope of an investigation into the leaking of a sex tape featuring former leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal. The video was first published on Akit's unofficial website Habervaktim in 2010. An investigation at the time produced no arrests. Dönmez had been detained earlier in the post-coup investigation.
15 Aug 2016
On 13 August 2016 Tahsin Kürklü, head of Logistics Department of the now-closed Zaman newspaper, was detained by gendarmerie officers in Gürün district of Sivas province and later ordered arrested by a Sivas court. He is said to be the former chauffeur of Ekrem Dumanlı, the former editor-in-chief of daily Zaman who was jailed for “attempting a coup” and “forming an organisation with felonious intent.”
11 Aug 2016
On 10 August 2016, an Ankara court of penal peace arraigned Erdal Şen, former Ankara correspondent for the daily newspaper Habertürk, on suspicion of assisting an alleged high-ranking member of the Hizmet movement to escape after the failed coup. He was released on 21 April 2017, and re-arrested the next day upon objection of the prosecutor’s office.
08 Aug 2016
İsmail Avcı, a former reporter for Zaman newspaper and Cihan News Agency, was arrested on 1 August 2016 as a part of the purge of journalists allegedly linked to Fethullah Gülen. Avcı was reportedly detained in the Yalvaç district of Isparta while trying to hide from police. He is currently being held in the Diyarbakır D-type prison.
08 Aug 2016
On 5 August 2016, police in the western Turkish province of Denizli, detained Resul Cengiz, a former reporter for the shuttered Cihan News Agency. A local court ordered Cengiz jailed pending trial on terrorism charges on 10 August 2016.
01 Aug 2016
Isa Siyi, journalist for Haberdar news site, was arrested on 28 July 2016, among the 88 journalists for whom arrest warrants were issued as part of the reaction to the July 15 military coup attempt.
01 Aug 2016
Abdurrahim Ersöz, a local press correspondent for Cihan news agency In Antalya, was arrested on 28 July 2016 as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked to the movement headed by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Mr Ersöz was arrested along with Antalya correspondent Ömer Özdemir from Zaman newspaper and is kept in detention at Antalya L Type Closed Criminal Infrastructure Authority since July 2016.
26 Jul 2016
In the early morning of 26 July 2016, journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, one of the 42 journalists named in the arrest warrants as part of the post-coup attempt crackdown operations, was detained in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Muğla. According to Turkish media reports, six other journalists appearing on the list were also detained: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya, Cihan Acar and Hanım Büşra Erdal.
25 Jul 2016
Mehmet Dener, the owner of the local sanliurfa.com website, was ordered arrested on 22 July 2016 along with the editor-in-chief of the website, Muhammet Taşçılar, as a part of the ongoing investigation into the failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
Follow-ups
17 May 2018
OSCE Media Freedom representative welcomes the release of journalists Ali Bulaç and Mehmet Özdemir from pre-trial detention and the vend of house arrest for Şahin Alpay, but increased sentences demanded against other defendants and continued arrests are of great concern.
20 Mar 2018
On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
19 Mar 2018
OSCE media freedom representative welcomes the release of Şahin Alpay but considers that "placing him under house arrest is contrary to the 2nd Constitutional Court ruling".
09 Mar 2018
OSCE representative Désir urges Turkey to release and drop charges against 25 media workers sentenced to prison, including journalists Aksoy and Taş
16 Feb 2018
Life sentences for Turkish journalists are an unprecedented, unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, say OSCE representative on Media Freedom.
19 Jan 2018
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
14 Mar 2017
Opinion of the Venice Commission on the Measures provided in the recent Emergency Decree Laws with respect to Freedom of the Media
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (62):

Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Yavaş, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ali Akkuş, Ali Aşikar, Ali Ahmet Böken, Ali Ünal, Ali Yüce, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Kaya, Beytullah Özdemir, Burçin Dokgöz, Cemal Kalyoncu, Cuma Ulus, Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erdal Şen, Erol Yüksel, Faruk Akkan, Fevzi Yazici, Gültekin Avcı, Habip Güler, Hakan Aksel, Hakan Taşdelen, Halil Ibrahim Mert, Hamza Günerigök, Hanim Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Idris Okur, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Mehmet Gündem, Mehmet Kuru, Mümtazer Türköne, Murat Dağdeviren, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mustafa Ünal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Nazlı Ilıcak, Nadir Yücel, Nuh Gönültaş, Nuri Durna, Nurullah Kaya, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, Ömer Oruç, Özcan Keser, Osman Yakut, Serhat Şeftali, Şeref Yılmaz, Seyid Kılıç, Tahsin Kürklü, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Vahit Yazgan, Yakup Çetin, Yakup Şimşek, Yalçın Güler
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06 May 2019 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 27 Jul 2016 Turkey

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

62 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI
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Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI
On 25 July 2016, the Turkish anti-terrorism Prosecutor Irfan Fidan has today issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists in the wake of the failed coup against President Erdoğan. According to Anatolian News Agency, the journalists targeted are: Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Dönmez, Ali Akkuş, Arda Akın, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bilal Şahin, Bülent Ceyhan, Bülent Mumay, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cevheri Güven, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erkan Akkuş, Ertuğrul Erbaş, Fatih Akalan, Fatih Yağmur, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, İnan Kızılkaya, Kamil Maman, Kerim Gün, Levent Kenez, Mahmut Hazar, Mehmet Gündem, Metin Yıkar, Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mürsel Genç, Selahattin Sevi, Seyid Kılıç, Turan Görüryılmaz, Ufuk Şanlı, Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Yakup Sağlam and Yakup Çetin.

Among those targeted by the warrants was prominent journalist and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak who was fired from the pro-government Sabah daily in 2013 for criticising ministers caught up in a corruption scandal, NTV and CNN-Turk reported. On 27 July 2016, journalist Nuriye Akman was taken into custody.

On 27 July 2016, Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 47 former executives and columnists of Zaman newspaper. Those named in the warrants include the following former columnists and executives : Osman Nuri Öztürk, Ali Akbulut, Bülent Keneş, Mehmet Kamış, Hüseyin Döğme, Süleyman Sargın, Veysel Ayhan, Şeref Yılmaz, Mehmet Akif Afşar, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Kardıç, Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Sevgi Akarçeşme, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ali Bulaç, Bülent Korucu, İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye Ural, Hamit Çiçek, Adil Gülçek, Hamit Bilici, Şenol Kahraman, Melih Kılıç, Nevzat Güner, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Sedat Yetişkin, Oktay Vızvız, Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, Behçet Akyar, Murat Avcıoğlu, Yüksel Durgut, Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, Hakan Taşdelen, Osman Nuri Arslan, and Ömer Karakaş.

On the same day, Zaman daily columnist, Şahin Alpay, has been detained after police raided his house in the early morning hours. Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu, who used to work for Zaman and Today’s Zaman and currently reports for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, was taken by police from her home early on that day too. She has reported in detail about issues concerning the Turkey armed forces, their financial assets, and shortcomings in terms of transparency and accountability. She has suffered for several years from poor health and has need of assured access to medical attention.
Updates
New 06 May 2019
On 3 May 2019, the Constitutional Court of Turkey rejected the individual applications of Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan, ruling that there was no violation of their rights during their pre-trial detention and prosecution. On 3 May 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Ali Bulaç, saying his right to freedom of expression and personal security had been violated. (The court has been reviewing rights violations for those arrested after the coup attempt, but its rulings do not automatically affect criminal sentences.)
19 Feb 2019
On 19 February 2019, the 3rd Penal Chamber (the court of appeal) of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld the verdict on the Cumhuriyet newspaper' case. This is the final judgment for the defendants who were sentenced to prison for less than five years: journalist Kadri Gursel and lawyer Bulent Utku will not go back to prison due to time already served ; journalists Hakan Kara and Guray Oz, cartoonist Musa Kart, lawyer Mustafa Kemal Gungor, board member Onder Celik, and accountant Emre Iper will return to prison to complete their sentences. Editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, journalists Ahmet Sik, Hikmet Cetinkaya, Orhan Erinc, Akin Atalay and Aydin Engin, all sentenced to more than five years, will appeal against their sentences.
08 Jan 2019
On 4 January 2019, Murat Aksoy was released to serve out the remaining months of a two-year jail term on probation.
07 Dec 2018
Journalist Murat Aksoy, who was given a 25-month prison sentence earlier this year reported to the Istanbul Courthouse on 22 November 2018 to serve that prison sentence, which was upheld in October 2018 by an appellate court. Aksoy was arrested and sent to the Metris Prison.
15 Nov 2018
On 14 November 2018, Uşak 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Ali Ünal to 19 years and six months in jail on charge of leading a terrorist group. The Court acquitted him of "attempt to overthrow the constitutional order".
02 Nov 2018
Columnist and author Mehmet Gündem, who had worked for several newspapers and outlets such as the now-closed Zaman, Gündem, Tercüman, Yeni Şafak, TRT Haber, and Milliyet, was arrested on 9 November 2017 as part of an operation against the Journalists’ and Writers’ Foundation (GYV), which was shut down by decree law. Gündem is charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation”, together with two other journalists, Behram Kılıç and Nuh Gönültaş. The latter is also detained in relation to the same operation against GYV. Kılıç was released on 1 November 2018, pending trial. Gündem appeared in court for the first time on 14 August 2018, after 10 months in pretrial detention. He is accused of using “ByLock”, an encrypted-communications application for mobiles said to have been used by followers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. Gündem’s next scheduled hearing is 8 May 2019, where the court has requested an expert report on digital tools to be submitted. Gündem was previously detained in July 2016 as part of arrest warrants for 42 journalists issued after the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016.
26 Oct 2018
On 24 October 2018, the 2nd Criminal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice ruled on appeals of a ruling handed down by the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court on 8 March 2018 lodged by 25 journalists, including 19 jailed journalists. The Chamber upheld the conviction of defendants Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Seyit Kılıç, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Davut Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız and Cuma Ulus. The court in addition ruled for a continuation of the imprisonment of the 19 journalists. In its decision, the chamber also rejected the appeals of prosecutors against lower court decisions for columnist and singer Atilla Taş and for journalist Murat Aksoy.
03 Oct 2018
On 2 October 2018, the appeal court upheld aggravated life sentences for Nazlı Ilıcak, Fevzi Yazıcı and Yakup Şimşek.
06 Jul 2018
On 6 July 2018, an Istanbul court has sentenced six former Zaman journalists to prison sentences on charges of being members of a terror organisation, while acquitting five others of all charges. The Court ordered to release Ahmet Turan Alkan and İbrahim Karayeğen under judicial control, pending appeal.
25 May 2018
On 24 May 2018, a court in İstanbul has sentenced Yeni Asya daily editor Naciye Nur Ener Kılınç to 7,5 years in prison on charge of membership of a terrorist organisation and ruled for the continuation of her house arrest pending appeal trial.
14 May 2018
On 11 May 2018, the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul in its interim decision ruled to release columnist Ali Bulaç and Zaman’s former Responsible Managing Editor Mehmet Özdemir from pretrial detention, while ordering the lifting of Şahin Alpay’s house arrest. The court also imposed overseas travel bans on both Bulaç and Özdemir and ordered judicial control measures for those three defendants. The next hearings are scheduled for 7 and 8 June.
10 May 2018
On 30 April 2018, Cuma Kaya,, Alaattin Güner and Hüseyin Turan, were sentenced to 5 years in prison each for "aiding a [terrorist] organisation willingly and knowingly without being a member," but were released on probation pending appeal. Murat Avcıoğlu was sentenced to 3 years and 45 days in prison for "aiding a [terrorist] organisation willingly and knowingly without being a member" and released on probation pending appeal. Zafer Özsoy, a Cihan News Agency broadcast technician, was acquitted of all charges,
30 Apr 2018
On 24 April 2018, a court in the southern city of Antalya sentenced to prison Tuncer Çetinkaya, a former reporter of Zaman newspaper and Cihan News Agency, for 7 years and 6 months on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organisation". The court ordered Çetinkaya released on probation to receive treatment for kidney failure.
29 Mar 2018
On 28 March 2018, a court issued its verdict releasing Ramazan Alkan for lack of evidence.
19 Mar 2018
Journalist Şahin Alpay was released from Silivri Prison at night on Friday 16 March 2018. He remains under on house arrest.
19 Mar 2018
On 15 March 2018, the Turkish Constitutional Court re-evaluated Şahin Alpay’s application. This 2nd application was filed after the Constitutional Court’s first ruling was snubbed by local courts in January 2018. The Court reiterated its former ruling that the journalist’s rights had been violated and that he should be freed. Turkish top court ruling comes as European Court of Human Rights is set to announce its verdict on the case on 20th March.
09 Mar 2018
On 8 March 2018, the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court sentenced defendants Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Multlu Çölgeçen, Seyid Kılıç, Ünal Tanık, Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Davut Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız, Cuma Ulus to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charge of “being a member of an illegal organisation”. The court ruled for the re-arrest of journalist Akkuş, who had been released last April. Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Yakup Çetin, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç and Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on the same charge. 13 defendants were acquitted of “coup attempt” charges. The court sentenced Atilla Taş and Murat Aksoy for “knowingly and willingly aiding an illegal organization as a non-member” while not being “a part of the hierarchical structure within the organization”. They were respectively condemned to 3 years 1 month and 15 days in prison and 2 years and 1 month. Considering the time in prison they already served, the court rejected the prosecutor’s request for the re-arrest of Taş and Aksoy and removed the obligation to sign in at a police station regularly. Yet it ruled for the continuation of their travel ban.
21 Feb 2018
On 20 February 2018, Nur Ener Kılınç was released pending trial and placed under house arrest. Her next hearing is set for 19 Aprill.
16 Feb 2018
On 16 Febuary 2018, Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek and Fevzi Yazıcı were handed aggravated life sentences.
15 Feb 2018
Ibrahim Balta was released on 6 February 2018 for health reasons. His trial goes on.
16 Jan 2018
On 12 January 2018, after reviewing the reasoned judgement of the Constitutional Court, the Istanbul 13th Criminal Court overruled the Constitutional Court’s verdict by saying it overstepped its jurisdiction and usurped the Criminal Court’s authority. On 15 January 2017, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court rejected Şahin Alpay’s appeal for release.
12 Jan 2018
On 11 January 2018 Turkey`s Constitutional Court ruled to release Şahin Alpay. His release was halted by Istanbul`s 13th High Criminal Court, which announced that his detention would be reviewed after the Constitutional Court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated.
29 Nov 2017
On 24 November 2017, Resul Cengiz was released on probation pending trial.
22 Nov 2017
On 21 November 2017, the 14th High Criminal Court of Ankara sentenced Ayşenur Parıldak, a correspondent for Zaman newspaper, to seven years and six months in prison for being a member of an armed terrorist organisation.
22 Nov 2017
On 8 November 2017, an Istanbul court ordered the release of Izmir-based journalist Bekir Gökmen Ulu from the Sözcü daily. The journalist is also under an international travel ban.
30 Oct 2017
On 12 October 2017, the Mersin 8th High Criminal Court released under judicial control Şirin Çoban and İlker İlkan pending trial
27 Oct 2017
On 12 October 2017, the Mersin 8th High Criminal Court released under judicial control Şirin Çoban and İlker İlkan pending trial.
25 Oct 2017
Murat Aksoy was released from pretrial detention by an İstanbul court on 24 October 2017. According to the decision of the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court, Aksoy was released after the court determined that the suspect had no bank account with Bank Asya and never used the ByLock mobile phone application, both considered by Turkish authorities to be evidence of links to the Gülen movement.
23 Oct 2017
On 17 October 2017, the Eskişehir 2nd court of severe crimes sentenced Mehmet Kuru to six years and three months' imprisonment for 'membership in a terrorist organization'.
15 Oct 2017
Murat Dağdeviren, owner of the Demokrat Gebze newspaper, was arrested on 31 July 2016. On 10 October 2017, he was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charge of membership to a terror organization. Demokrat Gebze newspaper was shut down by decree.
05 Oct 2017
Yüksel Durgut was released pending trial for health reasons on 29 September 2017.
29 Sep 2017
Abdullah Özyurt was released on 15 September 2017.
29 Sep 2017
On 22 September 2017, Mediha Olgun was released.
18 Sep 2017
Burak Ekici, the online editor for daily newspaper Birgün, was ordered arrested on 16 August 2017 on accusations of links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Ekici was detained for allegedly having used mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement.
07 Sep 2017
Mehmet Dener and Muhammet Taşçılar were released on 1 September 2017.
23 Aug 2017
On 18 August 2017, the 25th court for severe crime of Istanbul released pending trial Cihan Acar, journalist for Bugün, and Aksiyon magazine journalist, Bünyamin Köseli, prosecuted for «coup attempt».
21 Aug 2017
On 18 August 2017, Ali Ahmet Böken, a former TRT News coordinator and former columnist for the now-closed Samanyolu TV, was arrested. Accused of “membership in a terrorist organisation”, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
17 Aug 2017
On 10 August 2017, the police in Istanbul detained Cüneyt Seza Özkan, former news editor at the shuttered Samanyolu TV, according to news reports. Mr Özkan was one of 35 journalists and media workers whose arrest a Turkish court mandated the week before as part of a sweeping purge of suspected followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, according to reports. Özkan’s arrest is part of an investigation into journalists and others who allegedly used the Bylock app, according to press reports. Authorities allege that use of the encrypted messaging app is proof of FETÖ/PDY membership.
28 Jul 2017
On 19 July 2017, Lokman Erdoğan was released pending trial.
25 Jul 2017
Hülya Karakaya was released on 18 July 2017 and placed under judiciary control.
20 Jul 2017
Nizamettin İzgi, owner of the Batman newspaper, was arrested on 11 December 2016. On 17 July 2017, a court ordered his release under judicial control.
01 Jun 2017
On 27 May 2017, a Turkish court formally arrested Mediha Olgun (internet editor) and Gökmen Ulu (press correspondent in Izmir), two opposition journalists working for Sözcü daily newspaper for "a story and photographs in the paper revealing where Erdogan was spending his vacation a day before the coup, and a crossword puzzle with the president’s name hidden in it", according to state-run Anadolu news agency. The two jailed Sözcü journalists face charges including “knowingly aiding and abetting the FETÖ terrorist organisation without being part of its hierarchical structure”, and “aiding the assassination attempt of the president”.
30 May 2017
Idris Okur, Cihan reporter in Çorum, was put in custody on 1 August 2016. His trial started in May 2017 before the Çorum 2nd Heavy Penal Court.
29 May 2017
Özkan Mayda was released on 24 May 2017.
26 May 2017
Olgun Matur was released on 29 March 2017 and was arrested again 3 days later on 2nd April. He was released again on 24 May 2017.
05 May 2017
On 4 may 2017, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, editor of the online platform @BursaMuhalif and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bursa Branch of the Contemporary Gazeteciler Derneği, was detained during an early morning raid on his home. The journalist was arrested by a Bursa court on 5 May on the charge of spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation on his social media account.
02 May 2017
İbrahim Karayeğen, an editor for Zaman newspaper, was ordered arrested on 26 September 2016 as part of the coup attempt investigation. Karayeğen, who was detained on 16 July 2016 in İstanbul Atatürk Airport was formally put on pre-trial detention on 24 July 2016 by an investigating judge at İstanbul No.2 Criminal Court of Peace. On 27 April 2017, an Istanbul court indicted Karayeğen and 29 other former Zaman Media Group employees with attempting to overthrow the government, the Constitution and Parliament. Each suspect risks three consecutive life sentences. The indictment also seeks another 15 years for each suspect on charges of being members of a terrorist organisation.
29 Apr 2017
In April 2017, the Izmir 13th High Criminal Courts ruled to release Rabia Özkaya pending trial taking into consideration the nature of the criminal charges and the time she spent in pre-trial detention. The Court also banned Özkaya from travelling abroad.
20 Apr 2017
Ali Akkuş was released on 31 March 2017 and detained a few hours later. He was released again on 15 April 2017.
18 Apr 2017
On 5 August 2016, Yakup Şimşek, the former Brand Marketing Manager of Zaman was taken into custody, as part of a probe into a controversial commercial allegedly hinting at an impending coup bid some nine months before the 15 July coup attempt. The indictment drafted on 14 April 2017 by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeks three consecutive life sentences for 16 people, including Şimşek, on coup charges. On 29 March 2016, court-appointed trustees had fired Simsek along with 5 colleagues from the daily newspapers Zaman and Today's Zaman, for "abusing the trust of the employer" and "acting against the good will and morals, as well as the company's image".
17 Apr 2017
Yakup Çetin and Yetkin Yıldız were released on 31 march 2017 and detained again a few hours later. They were re-arrested on 15 april 2017.
13 Apr 2017
On 11 April 2017 an indictment of journalists and columnists of Zaman daily was filed to the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. The indictment seeks three consecutive life sentences for the 30 defendants on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. 30 journalists, 21 of whom are already under arrest, were indicted. The defendants include former Zaman writers Mümtazer Türköne, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Şahin Alpay, Mustafa Ünal and Ali Bulaç. The journalists are charged with "attempting a coup d'Etat" for which the prosecutor demands three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Additionally, the prosecutor demands up to 15 years in prison for all the suspects on charges of "membership in a terrorist organisation." Anatolia News Agency reported that the defendants are Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Cuma Kaya, Faruk Akkan, Hakan Taşdelen, Hüseyin Belli, Hüseyin Turan, İbrahim Karayeğen, İsmail Küçük, Mehmet Özdemir, Murat Avcıoğlu, Mustafa Ünal, Onur Kutlu, Sedat Yetişkin, Şeref Yılmaz, Yüksel Durgut and Zafer Özsoy, Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyin Çelebi, Süleyman Sargın, Osman Nuri Arslan, Osman Nuri Öztürk, Lalezer Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz. Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ural and Cengiz are listed as suspects pending trial outside of prison.
05 Apr 2017
Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional burea Chief for the Med region, was arrested on 21 July 2016. He stands accused of preparing the ground for July 2016 coup attempt on behalf of the Hizmet movement. On 1 April 2017, Serhat Şeftali was ordered released on judicial probation by the Antalya 2nd High Criminal Court along 20 police officers and seven other journalists including Tuncer Çetinkaya and Olgun Matur pending the conclusion of their trial. However, the Antalya 3rd High Criminal Court ruled for the re-arrest of 16 of them, including Şeftali following objections to their release by prosecutors.
05 Apr 2017
Tuncer Çetinkaya was released on 29 March 2017 and re-arrested on 2 April.
04 Apr 2017
Abdurrahim Ersöz, Ömer Özdemir have been released on 30 March 2017.
31 Mar 2017
Kenan Baş was released on 29 March 2017.
10 Mar 2017
Nur Ener, the news-editor of Yeni Asya newspaper, was detained on 3 March 2017 as a part of the purge of journalists allegedly linked to the Gülen movement. Ener was formally arrested on 6 March 2017 for allegedly having used the mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which Turkish prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement. Ener is currently in pre-trial detention in the Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison in Istanbul.
06 Mar 2017
Erdem Mühirci was released on 28 February 2017.
28 Feb 2017
Vedat Demir was released on 18 February 2017.
03 Feb 2017
Hamza Günerigök, an anchor with of state-owned TRT, was arrested on 30 January 2017 by border security in military zone as he was trying to flee from Turkey to Greece in illegal ways. The authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Günerigök over his alleged link with the Gülen movement.
30 Jan 2017
On 18 January 2017, Ünal Tanık, owner and editor-in-chief of the Rota Haber news portal, which is among the media outlets closed down in the aftermath of the coup attempt, was arrested after being detained in Yalova the day before. The arrest verdict of İstanbul’s 11th Penal Court of Peace was based on the charge of alleged membership to the Gülen movement. Tanık faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
23 Dec 2016
Özcan Keser, reporter for state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Network (TRT), who had previously worked with Cihan News Agency, was detained on 12 August 2016. He was formally arrested on 19 December.
22 Dec 2016
Ömer Oruç, a former reporter of the Cihan News Agency, was arrested on 18 December 2016. Oruç is currently imprisoned in Isparta prison.
19 Dec 2016
Eda Şanlı was released pending trial on 18 December 2016.
16 Dec 2016
On 14 December 2016, Mehmet Anıl was released.
12 Dec 2016
Nadir Yücel, editor in chief of the Çorum Yıldız, was ordered arrested on 4 December 2016 as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked with Fethullah Gülen.
31 Oct 2016
Beytullah Özdemir, the Düzce representative for the newspaper Zaman, was ordered arrested on 27 October 2016 as part of the ongoing investigation into the failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
26 Oct 2016
As of 26 October 2016, the list of detained journalists was updated, adding the following 24 journalists, arrested under State of emergency as part of the coup investigation: Abdullah Özyurt, Ahmet Yavaş, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Parlak, Cumali Önal, Gültekin Avcı, Eda Şanlı, Halil İbrahim Mert, İbrahim Karayeğen, Kenan Baş, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Murat Aksoy, Nurullah Kaya, Nuri Durna, Olgun Matur, Osman Yakut, Özkan Mayda, Tuncer Çetinkaya, Vahit Yazgan, Vedat Demir and Yalçın Güler. Most of them were former Zaman journalists and executives. Additionally, 11 journalists, arrested during the State of emergency outside the coup probe, were also added to the list of detained journalists: Erdem Mühirci, Hülya Karakaya , İlker İlkan, Mehmet Anıl, Mehmet Arslan , Necmiye Alpay, Nizamettin Yılmaz, Rabia Özkaya, Selahattin Koyuncu , Şirin Çoban and Zeynel Abidin Bulut.
18 Oct 2016
As of 18 October 2016, 35 of the 89 journalists targeted by one of the 2 mass warrants issued after the coup attempt have been arrested : Abdullah Kılıç, Ali Akkuş, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, and Yakup Çetin - Şeref Yılmaz, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Ali Bulaç, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Murat Avcıoğlu, , Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, and Hakan Taşdelen. On Oct 12, former Taraf and Zaman columnists Lalezar Sariibrahimoglu and Nuriye (Akman) Ural were released from prison pending trial. An Istanbul Criminal Court decided that there were sufficient grounds for suspecting that both were members of the so-called Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure, or FETÖ/PDY, but also indicated that the case against them would be subject to further assessment to ascertain whether it could be shown to be strong enough to proceed. On that basis they were released from custody on appeal with certain legal controls. Both are banned from travelling abroad. To date, ten journalists have been released: Arda Akın, Bülent Mumay, Mehmet Gündem, and Yakup Sağlam -Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye (Akman) Ural and Osman Nuri Arslan.
05 Oct 2016
Ramazan Alkan, a journalist for Yeni Akit newspaper, was ordered arrested on 30 September 2016 for allegedly having used the mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which Turkish prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement.
12 Sep 2016
Mutlu Çölgeçen, an editor with Millet newspaper, was ordered arrested on 9 September 2016. Çölgeçen is one of 29 journalists charged in a case accusing them of having been part of the Gülen movement’s “media wing”. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
05 Sep 2016
On 2 September 2016, Ahmet Memiş, a reporter for Haberdar news website, was arrested as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Mr Memiş is accused of having been part of the Gülen movement’s “media wing” and is kept in detention at Silivri prison camp.
01 Sep 2016
In August 2016, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has ordered detention for 34 employers of TRT (Turkey's Public Broadcasting Service) claimed to be users of ByLock, an encrypted communication software allegedly used among members of the Gülen Community. According to Bianet, there are eight TRT employees among journalists taken into custody under the State of Emergency declared on July 20 and put behind bars. The names of the eight former TRT employees are as follows: Ahmet Yavaş (TRT radio Erzurum correspondent), Ali Yüce (TRT radio broadcasting manager), Ersin Şanlı (TRT domestic news manager), Hakan Aksel (TRT News and Sports Department Coordinator Assistant and Producer), Halil İbrahim Mert (TRT TV Erzurum cameraperson), Nuri Durna (TRT Erzurum correspondent), Yalçın Güler (TRT Erzurum correnspondent), Seyid Kılıç (TRT correspondent). Since August 2016, those eight journalists are kept in detention as part of the government’s investigation following the 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
29 Aug 2016
On 21 August 2016, a court in Van arraigned Ali Aşikar, a journalist working for the Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat, and ordered him jailed pending trial on charges of "committing crimes in the name of [terrorist] organizations" and possessing explosives. Mr Aşikar is kept in detention at Van M type prison since 28 August 2016.
25 Aug 2016
Burçin Dokgöz, a reporter for Zaman newspaper and for Cihan News Agency in the northern Anatolian city of Çorum, was ordered arrested on 21 August 2016.
24 Aug 2016
İsmail Efe, the press consultant of the İzmir Directorate of Tourism, was arrested as a part of ongoing operations against alleged followers of Fethullah Gülen following the failed coup attempt. Efe is currently imprisoned in Aliağa prison in İzmir
24 Aug 2016
Erol Yüksel, a vice president of the news department of state-owned TRT, was ordered arrested on 19 August 2016 as part of the investigation following the coup attempt.
15 Aug 2016
On 4 August 2016, Haşim Söylemez was released on probation pending trial.
15 Aug 2016
On 10 August 2016, Habervaktim site and founder of Vahdet newspaper, Yener Dönmez, was detained at the Habervaktim Ankara bureau, in the scope of an investigation into the leaking of a sex tape featuring former leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal. The video was first published on Akit's unofficial website Habervaktim in 2010. An investigation at the time produced no arrests. Dönmez had been detained earlier in the post-coup investigation.
15 Aug 2016
On 13 August 2016 Tahsin Kürklü, head of Logistics Department of the now-closed Zaman newspaper, was detained by gendarmerie officers in Gürün district of Sivas province and later ordered arrested by a Sivas court. He is said to be the former chauffeur of Ekrem Dumanlı, the former editor-in-chief of daily Zaman who was jailed for “attempting a coup” and “forming an organisation with felonious intent.”
11 Aug 2016
On 10 August 2016, an Ankara court of penal peace arraigned Erdal Şen, former Ankara correspondent for the daily newspaper Habertürk, on suspicion of assisting an alleged high-ranking member of the Hizmet movement to escape after the failed coup. He was released on 21 April 2017, and re-arrested the next day upon objection of the prosecutor’s office.
08 Aug 2016
İsmail Avcı, a former reporter for Zaman newspaper and Cihan News Agency, was arrested on 1 August 2016 as a part of the purge of journalists allegedly linked to Fethullah Gülen. Avcı was reportedly detained in the Yalvaç district of Isparta while trying to hide from police. He is currently being held in the Diyarbakır D-type prison.
08 Aug 2016
On 5 August 2016, police in the western Turkish province of Denizli, detained Resul Cengiz, a former reporter for the shuttered Cihan News Agency. A local court ordered Cengiz jailed pending trial on terrorism charges on 10 August 2016.
01 Aug 2016
Isa Siyi, journalist for Haberdar news site, was arrested on 28 July 2016, among the 88 journalists for whom arrest warrants were issued as part of the reaction to the July 15 military coup attempt.
01 Aug 2016
Abdurrahim Ersöz, a local press correspondent for Cihan news agency In Antalya, was arrested on 28 July 2016 as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked to the movement headed by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Mr Ersöz was arrested along with Antalya correspondent Ömer Özdemir from Zaman newspaper and is kept in detention at Antalya L Type Closed Criminal Infrastructure Authority since July 2016.
26 Jul 2016
In the early morning of 26 July 2016, journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, one of the 42 journalists named in the arrest warrants as part of the post-coup attempt crackdown operations, was detained in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Muğla. According to Turkish media reports, six other journalists appearing on the list were also detained: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya, Cihan Acar and Hanım Büşra Erdal.
25 Jul 2016
Mehmet Dener, the owner of the local sanliurfa.com website, was ordered arrested on 22 July 2016 along with the editor-in-chief of the website, Muhammet Taşçılar, as a part of the ongoing investigation into the failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
Follow-ups
17 May 2018
OSCE Media Freedom representative welcomes the release of journalists Ali Bulaç and Mehmet Özdemir from pre-trial detention and the vend of house arrest for Şahin Alpay, but increased sentences demanded against other defendants and continued arrests are of great concern.
20 Mar 2018
On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
19 Mar 2018
OSCE media freedom representative welcomes the release of Şahin Alpay but considers that "placing him under house arrest is contrary to the 2nd Constitutional Court ruling".
09 Mar 2018
OSCE representative Désir urges Turkey to release and drop charges against 25 media workers sentenced to prison, including journalists Aksoy and Taş
16 Feb 2018
Life sentences for Turkish journalists are an unprecedented, unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, say OSCE representative on Media Freedom.
19 Jan 2018
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
14 Mar 2017
Opinion of the Venice Commission on the Measures provided in the recent Emergency Decree Laws with respect to Freedom of the Media
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (62):

Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Yavaş, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ali Akkuş, Ali Aşikar, Ali Ahmet Böken, Ali Ünal, Ali Yüce, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Kaya, Beytullah Özdemir, Burçin Dokgöz, Cemal Kalyoncu, Cuma Ulus, Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erdal Şen, Erol Yüksel, Faruk Akkan, Fevzi Yazici, Gültekin Avcı, Habip Güler, Hakan Aksel, Hakan Taşdelen, Halil Ibrahim Mert, Hamza Günerigök, Hanim Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Idris Okur, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Mehmet Gündem, Mehmet Kuru, Mümtazer Türköne, Murat Dağdeviren, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mustafa Ünal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Nazlı Ilıcak, Nadir Yücel, Nuh Gönültaş, Nuri Durna, Nurullah Kaya, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, Ömer Oruç, Özcan Keser, Osman Yakut, Serhat Şeftali, Şeref Yılmaz, Seyid Kılıç, Tahsin Kürklü, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Vahit Yazgan, Yakup Çetin, Yakup Şimşek, Yalçın Güler
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03 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 07 Jan 2016 Turkey

Kurdish Media Journalists Arrested in Turkey

7 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
Nedim Oruç, correspondent for the Kurdish press agency DIHA, was arrested on 6 January 2016 by the authorities in Silopi (Turkey) and charged with “doing propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation”. According to reports in DİHA, Mr Oruç was by force of arms taken to Yenişehir Indoor Sports Hall from a house situated in Şehit Harun neighborhood. According to testimony of eyewitnesses, journalist Oruç was beaten up during his arrest by local police. Media reports say that Mr Oruç is expected to be transferred to Şırnak F-Type Prison.
Updates
New 03 May 2019
The constitutional court rejected Ziya Ataman application on 2 May 2019
01 Apr 2019
Ziya Ataman, a reporter for the now-closed pro-Kurdish news agency DİHA, was arrested on 11 April 2016 under charges of “participating in an operation of a terrorist organisation”. Police detained Ataman after he participated in a protest in the province of Van, eastern Turkey. Ataman, who had previously been a distributor for the shut-down Özgür Gündem newspaper, had been working as an intern reporter at DİHA for seven months. The indictment was prepared in December 2017, almost 20 months after Ataman was arrested, on the basis of a witness statement claiming that Ataman had participated in one of the outlawed PKK attacks. The witness, who is also a relative of Ataman, later filed an official objection to his earlier statement, confessing that he had signed the statement “under threat and torture”. Ataman appeared in court for the first time on 2 March 2018, after almost two years in pre-trial detention, and was not able to give his defense during the second hearing, due to apparent misconnection of the video-conferencing system SEGBIS between his prison cell and the courtroom. Ataman reportedly went on a hunger strike on 1 March 2019. Ataman requested to give his defense in Kurdish at the 26 March 2019 hearing, and the court asked him to provide for translation at the next hearing, adjourning to 28 May 2019.
28 Jan 2019
İdris Sayılğan, a reporter for the now-closed pro-Kurdish news agency DİHA, was arrested on 24 October 2016 on charges of “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “terrorist propaganda”, and sent to a prison in the Trabzon province. The public prosecutor submitted an indictment citing Sayılğan’s news reports and transcriptions of phone calls with his source as criminal evidence. The first court hearing was held in November 2017, although Sayılğan was not physically present. After two years and three months in pre-trial detention, Sayılgan appeared in court for the first time on 25 January 2019, where he was sentenced on charges of “membership in a terrorist organisation” to 8 years and 3 months in prison. Sayılğan claims that he was subjected to torture and strip-search while in detention. His lawyers and the London-based organisation Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) filed a joint application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The Court has granted Sayılğan’s application priority review status. Sayılgan’s case is also pending before the local court of appeals.
17 Dec 2018
Uğur Yılmaz, a former reporter for the shut-down pro-Kurdish news agency DİHA, was arrested on 17 July 2017 in the Bitlis province. Yılmaz, who also worked in the city of Batman’s Press Department, is charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “spreading terrorist propaganda”. The indictment is based on his attendance at several protests and press briefings, photos taken by him and anonymous witness statements as criminal evidence. The public prosecutor seeks a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. After about eight months of pre-trial detention in Bitlis, Yılmaz was sent to a prison in the distant city of Elazığ. The first hearing took place on 16 October 2018, after 16 months in detention, at Bitlis High Criminal Court No. 2, Yılmaz being connected to the courtroom from his cell in Elazığ via the video-conferencing system SEGBİS. Anonymous witness statements claimed seeing the journalist delivering packages on behalf of a terrorist organization, statements which the anonymous witness denied in court, saying that he did “not know the journalist” and that he had made those statements “under the influence of drugs.” At a hearing on 11 December 2018, the court decided to accept the anonymous witness’ testimony, and adjourned to 7 May 2019.
12 Oct 2018
On 28 September 2018, Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Abdülkadir Turay to nine years in prison for "being a member of a [terrorist] organisation” and decided to keep him under arrest.
01 Mar 2018
On 28 February 2018; the Van 4 High Criminal Court ruled for the release of Ayhan Demir pending trial .
30 Mar 2017
On 20 March 2017, journalist Ayhan Demir, editor of Çaldıran Haber Ajansi in the province of Van, has been arrested together with several local politicians following a police raid. Based on media reports, the journalist has been arrested for sharing several messages on social networks and is kept in jail at Van detention center since March 2017.
25 Jan 2017
On 19 January 2017, a journalist for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DIHA) has been detained by the police based on pictures he took during a September event 2014 event in Ağrı called Peace and Nature festival in which flags and banners of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) were visible. The prosecutor accused Abdullah Kaya of being a member of an illegal terrorist organisation. In May 2017, he was released pending trial but on December 2017, he was sent back to jail by the court of appeal which upheld an earlier guilty verdict. He is currently serving a four-year and two-month prison sentence for being a member of an illegal organisation.
12 Jul 2016
On 1st July 2016, the editor of Demokratik Ulus newspaper, Arafat Dayan, was arrested in Tarsus on charges of alleged violations of anti-terrorism laws. Mr Dayan had gone to the Tarsus District Police Station to renew his driver's license when police found an outstanding warrant for his arrest on charges the newspaper did not specify. Mr Dayan is imprisoned since July 2016 at the Silifke prison in Mersin.
13 Jun 2016
On 10 June 2016, a court of Cizre freed Nedim Oruç on bail of 5,000 Turkish liras, after five months' of pre-trial detention. The court banned Oruç from foreign travel.
06 Jun 2016
Emin Demir, a freelance reporter for DIHA news agency, was detained on 31 May 2016 on the basis of his social media posts on charges of "doing propaganda for an illegal organisation" and "inciting the public to hatred". (According to media report), a Court in Mersin condemned the journalist to 4 years in jail for his posts on social media .
30 May 2016
Five persons including DİHA reporter Abdulkadir Turay taken into custody in Mardin on 5 May 2016 were then arrested on charges of “aiding and abetting an [illegal] organization”. The journalist was arrested together with Kurdish politicians during a house raid by Turkish gendarmerie in Savur district of Mardin province. Turay is in detention since May 2016 at Mardin E Type closed prison.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (7):

Abdulkadir Turay, Emin Demir, Arafat Dayan, Abdullah Kaya, İdris Sayılğan, Uğur Yılmaz, Ziya Ataman
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03 Jun 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 31 Oct 2016 Turkey

Turkey: Arrest of At Least 12 Employees of Cumhuriyet Newspaper

6 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
On 31 October 2016, Turkish police detained at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Turkey's largest secular, left-leaning paper, and one of the few publications that continues to criticise the government. The detained media workers are accused of membership of, and committing crimes on behalf of, two terrorist organisations: the Kurdistan Workers’ party and the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which the government accuses of being behind the failed coup attempt. According to media reports, prosecutors also issued detention warrants for two of the newspaper’s executives, who are both currently abroad.

Following police raids, the following people were taken into custody: Murat Sabuncu (Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief); Güray Öz (Cumhuriyet board executive and columnist); Aydın Engin (former editor-in-chief of the newspaper); Hikmet Çetinkaya (columnist); Eser Sevinç, Hakan Kara, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Önder Çelik (all board members of the Cumhuriyet Foundation); Turhan Günay (Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper’s book supplement); and columnist Kadri Gürsel, who is also the head of the International Press Institute’s Turkey office.
Updates
New 03 Jun 2019
On 29 May 2019, Kadri Gürsel was sent to Metris Prison to begin a 30-month prison sentence upheld by the court of appeal in February 2019. Later the same day, the journalist was released from prison as his request for probation was accepted.
New 03 May 2019
On 2 May 2019, the Constitutional court ruled that the rights of journalists Kadri Gürsel and Murat Aksoy were violated. (The court has been reviewing rights violations for those arrested after the coup attempt, but its rulings do not automatically affect criminal sentences.) On 2 May 2019, the appeals based on the “breach of fundamental rights” were overruled for Akin Atalay, the former publisher of Cumhuriyet; Murat Sabuncu, Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief; Ahmet Şık, a reporter; and Bulent Utku, a high-level editorial manager.
29 Apr 2019
On 25 April 2019, six journalists and executives surrendered to Kandıra prison in Kocaeli province after an appeals confirmation of their jail sentences was officially communicated to Turkey’s National Judicial Informatics System (UYAP) on 19 April. Defendants – Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara and Emre İper – returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentences.
15 Apr 2019
On 19 February 2019, an Istanbul appeals court confirmed the sentences handed down by a lower criminal court in April 2018. Journalists in the case with sentences greater than five years have the possibility of further appeal. Lower sentences are considered final under Turkish law.
26 Apr 2018
On 25 April 2018, an Istanbul court convicted 13 journalists and executives of Cumhuriyet of aiding terrorist organizations and sentenced them to jail terms ranging between two and seven years. The court placed the journalists on probation and banned them from traveling until the appeals process has ended. The judge also ordered the conditional release of Cumhuriyet chairman Akin Atalay. The court acquitted three of the defendants : Bülent Yener, a former board member, Turhan Günay, chief editor of the daily's literary supplement, and Günseli Özatalay, the chief accountant.
12 Mar 2018
On 9 March 2018, the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul ruled for the release of Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık pending the conclusion of the trial. Sabuncu and Şık remain under judicial control. The daily's chairman, Akın Atalay, however, was remanded in custody until the next hearing, scheduled for 16 March, during which the prosecutor is expected to submit his final opinion.
29 Dec 2017
On 29 December 2017 an Istanbul Court ruled to release Emre İper. He remains under judicial control and an international travel ban.
25 Dec 2017
On 25 December 2017 a judge at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse ruled to keep Ahmet Şık, Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu in jail for at least two more months until the next session of the trial on 9 March 2018.
26 Sep 2017
On 25 September 2017, the Court ruled to release Kadri Gürsel, though he remains on trial on charges of links to terror groups. After completing formalities, he was released from the Silivri prison. The Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu. Their next hearing is scheduled for 31 October 2017.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017, a Turkish court confirmed Ahmet Şık's detention. The next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017 a Turkish court Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Murat Sabuncu and Kadri Gürsel. Their next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
31 Jul 2017
On 28 July 2017, an Istanbul court released seven Cumhuriyet journalists and executives. Five are to remain under arrest including Ahmet Şık. The court also decided that additional criminal charges would be brought against Ahmet Şık for his defense statement.
15 Jun 2017
On 14 June 2017, after 30 days of imprisonment, Oğuz Güven was released pending trial. His next hearing is scheduled to take place on 14 September 2017.
16 May 2017
On 12 May 2017, Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online edition of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, was detained as part of a criminal investigation led by the Bureau of Press Offences of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul. On 15 May, Güven appeared before a judge, who ordered that he be held in pre-trial detention, on “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “defamation against a person’s memory” charges. Both charges against the journalist are solely based on the title of a news report published and tweeted by Cumhuriyet on an online account about the accidental death of a prosecutor. During the hearing, the journalist repeated that the controversial tweet (“the prosecutor who sought the first warrants against FETÖ was cut apart by a truck”) was only visible during 55 seconds, was immediately corrected (“the prosecutor lost life in a serious car accident”) and is one of the 300 tweets per day written by the journalist, that he cannot be suspected of doing anything to support any terrorist organisation. Oğuz Güven is the 12th Cumhuriyet professional arrested by the Turkish authorities on charges of supporting two illegal organisations (PKK and FETÖ) based on opinions and articles published by the newspaper.
19 Apr 2017
On 7 April 2017, Cumhuriyet’s Finance Manager Emre İper was taken into custody during a midnight raid on his home by police. He was arrested on 19 April on charges of using ByLock, a communications app allegedly used by the Fethullah Gülen network and “being member of a terrorsit organisation”.
11 Jan 2017
On 29 December 2016, the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was detained by Turkish authorities on charges of " propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation" and "openly denigrating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs and its military and police". Şık tweeted that he was being detained due to a single tweet; a news report stated that the detention also related to various reporting elements including an interview with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s administrator published in Cumhuriyet daily in March 2015. On 30 December, Ahmet Şık was officially put under arrest on charges of spreading propaganda for the PKK, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and for the Fethullah Gülen group, an Islamic network the Turkish judiciary refers to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). All three groups are outlawed in Turkey. A report published by the Cumhuriyet claimed that Ahmet Şık had been denied drinking water for three days at Metris Prison, where he was kept before being transferred to Silivri Prison on 3 January. The Justice Ministry's Directorate General for Correctional Facilities released a statement denying the allegation, the official statement claimed Şık was given 1.5 liters of bottled water on 1 January. The Turkish authorities own regulation states that "any inmate has to right to have on daily basis 200 liters of cold water and 50 liters of hot water". Ahmet Şık also claimed that he was denied access to newspaper, pen and books in the cell. Ahmet Şık's access to his lawyers (Can Atalay and Tora Pekin) and family members were also denied during the first 5 days of his detention because the authorities couldn't record the conversation between the lawyers and their client. Şık was previously arrested in March 2011 in relation to an investigation into the Oda TV news website. He spent a year in prison for an unpublished critical book about the Gülen movement supported, at that time, by the AKP government. Today, the journalist is charged with doing propaganda for the same movement.
14 Nov 2016
On 12 November 2016, the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet, Akin Atalay, was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist organization” , upon his arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. A detention warrant had been issued for him on 30 October while he was abroad.
08 Nov 2016
On 5 November 2016, nine journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily were placed under formal arrest by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace. The daily’s columnists Aydın Engin and Hikmet Çetinkaya were released by the court pending trial. A travel ban was imposed on them. On 4 November 2016, Günseli Özaltay, the accounting manager of the newspaper, and former accounting manager Bülent Yener were released.
Follow-ups
29 Apr 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative appalled by return to prison of former Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey, calls for their immediate release.
04 May 2018
Secretary General deeply worried by the chilling effect the heavy criminal sentences may have on media freedom
26 Apr 2018
OSCE representative welcomes release of Akın Atalay in Turkey but strongly condemns prison sentences for Cumhuriyet journalists and staff.
23 Mar 2018
All Cumhuriyet journalists must be released, says OSCE representative Désir following continued detention of CEO Atalay
12 Mar 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes the release of two Cumhuriyet journalists, calls on Turkey to free Akın Atalay and drop charges against all defendants
19 Jan 2018
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
26 Sep 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes the release of Kadri Gürsel and calls for release of imprisoned Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey.
12 Sep 2017
OSCE Media Freedom Representative renews calls on Turkey to urgently release jailed journalists.
31 Jul 2017
Cumhuriyet trial interim court decision shows urgency to drop charges and release all imprisoned Turkish journalists, says OSCE Media Freedom Representative.
25 Jul 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
12 Jun 2017
On 8 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights communicated to the Turkish Government the case of Sabuncu and Others v. Turkey. The applicants, ten journalists from the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet placed in police custody and subsequently in pre-trial detention on suspicion of having committed offences on behalf of terrorist organisations and disseminating propaganda for them, complained about their pre-trial detention and its duration, and also submit that there has been a breach of their freedom of expression. They further allege that their detention is a sanction against them for criticising the government and amounts to politically-motivated judicial harassment. They rely in particular on Article 5 § 1, 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security / right to speedy review of the lawfulness of detention), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights).
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
31 Oct 2016
Statement from Secretary General Jagland expressing his concern about state of emergency measures and freedom of expression in Turkey
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (6):

Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Emre İper
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15 Apr 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 14 Mar 2019 Turkey

Turkey Revokes Press Accreditations of Foreign Correspondents

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ IPI
German journalists were compelled to leave Turkey on Sunday, 10 March 2019, after their press accreditations were not renewed for 2019 without any explanation. Thomas Seibert, reporter at the Tagesspiegel newspaper, was a long-term correspondent in the country. Jörg Brase was head of public broadcaster ZDF’s Istanbul office. The Turkish embassy in Germany tried in vain to make a deal to have the correspondents replaced, Tagesspiegel’s editor-in-chief reports. A third journalist, Halil Gülbeyaz, with public broadcaster NDR also had his accreditation refused and is not allowed return to Turkey. On 13 March 2019, Brase’s accreditation was renewed, after 20 freedom of expression and human rights organisations had urged Turkey to rescind the decisions. The status of Seibert and Gülbeyaz remains unclear.
Updates
New 24 May 2019
The Turkish government has renewed the press credentials of Thomas Seibert, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on 6 April 2019.
08 Apr 2019
Accreditation of Tagesspiegel Turkey correspondent Thomas Seibert is renewed and he returned back to Turkey on 8 April 2019 after being invited by Turkish authorities to return to the country.
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15 Apr 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 14 Mar 2019 Turkey

Turkey Revokes Press Accreditations of Foreign Correspondents

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ IPI
German journalists were compelled to leave Turkey on Sunday, 10 March 2019, after their press accreditations were not renewed for 2019 without any explanation. Thomas Seibert, reporter at the Tagesspiegel newspaper, was a long-term correspondent in the country. Jörg Brase was head of public broadcaster ZDF’s Istanbul office. The Turkish embassy in Germany tried in vain to make a deal to have the correspondents replaced, Tagesspiegel’s editor-in-chief reports. A third journalist, Halil Gülbeyaz, with public broadcaster NDR also had his accreditation refused and is not allowed return to Turkey. On 13 March 2019, Brase’s accreditation was renewed, after 20 freedom of expression and human rights organisations had urged Turkey to rescind the decisions. The status of Seibert and Gülbeyaz remains unclear.
Updates
New 24 May 2019
The Turkish government has renewed the press credentials of Thomas Seibert, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on 6 April 2019.
08 Apr 2019
Accreditation of Tagesspiegel Turkey correspondent Thomas Seibert is renewed and he returned back to Turkey on 8 April 2019 after being invited by Turkish authorities to return to the country.
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15 Apr 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 12 Sep 2018 Turkey

Austrian Journalist Max Zirngast Detained in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained on early hours of 11 September 2018 at his apartment in Ankara by anti-terror authorities. According to some media reports, he would be detained on "terror propaganda" charges. Allegations may be related to his political publications and involvement in civil activism against the Turkish government. He was arrested along with two other Turkish citizens.

Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), has been contributing to left-wing publications such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük. He was publishing content often critical to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been politically active in the election campaign of pro-kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).
Updates
15 Apr 2019
Max Zirngast’s first hearing took place on 11 April 2019. Judicial control measure to sign weekly attendance at police station is lifted, travel ban remained. Hearing adjourned to 11 September 2019.
04 Jan 2019
On 25 December 2018, Austrian freelance journalist Max Zirngast has been released but is still under prosecution with a travel ban.
Follow-ups
12 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative strongly condemns detention of Austrian journalist Max Zirngast and urge authorities to immediately release him.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Max Zirngast
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31 Oct 2017 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Aug 2016 Turkey

Özgür Gündem Daily Shut Down and Journalists’ Homes Raided in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
A court in Istanbul ordered on August 16, 2016 the closure of Özgür Gündem newspaper for spreading alleged "propaganda on behalf of the outlawed terrorist organisation". Shortly after the announcement of the newspaper’s closure by authorities, police raided its office in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district. During the police raid, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Zana Kaya, journalists Günay Aksoy, Kemal Bozkurt, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Önder Elaldı, Ender Önder, Sinan Balık, Fırat Yeşilçınar, İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Paksoy, Zeki Erden, Elif Aydoğmuş, Bilir Kaya, Ersin Çaksu, Mesut Kaynar,Sevdiye Gürbüz, Amine Demirkıran, Bayram Balcı, Burcu Özkaya, Yılmaz Bozkurt, Gülfem Karataş, Gökhan Çetin, Hüseyin Gündüz and Aslı Erdoğan were taken in custody by the authorities. Media freedom organisations condemned the violence of the detentions.

Following the closure of Özgür Gündem, the authorities raided the next day (17 August) the house of Ragip Zarakolu, a journalist, writer and editor known for his publishing work on minority rights in Turkey. The writer was not home but his books about Armenian, Pontus and Assyrian genocides have been confiscated by the authorities. Houses of journalists Eren Keskin and Filiz Koçali have also been raided by the police for similar purpose.

The total number of staff members detained has risen to 24, P24 reported on 16 August.
Updates
08 Mar 2018
On 6 March 2018, the 23rd High criminal court of Istanbul lifted the arrest warrant against Özgür Gündem advisory board member Ragıp Zarakolu on grounds that the court had been notified of his address of residence in Sweden where he now lives in exile. The trial was adjourned to 4th June.
31 Oct 2017
On the fifth hearing in the main trial of Özgür Gündem daily held on 31 October 2017, the Court decided to release the managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya pending trial. The Court also placed him under an international travel ban. The next hearing will be on 6 March 2018.
08 Sep 2017
On 7 September 2017, Aslı Erdoğan was given back her passport, after the travel ban imposed on her was lifted in June 2017.
28 Aug 2017
Eren Keskin, former editor-in-chief of the Özgür Gündem daily, was released on 25 August 2016 after being referred to a court by prosecutors. She was then placed under a travel ban.
29 Dec 2016
On 29 December 2016, Aslı Erdoğan was released and a travel ban was imposed on her pending trial.The hearing is set for 22 June 2017. Zana Kaya was also released.
14 Nov 2016
On 10 November 2016, a prosecutor in Istanbul asked for life sentences for nine journalists and executives from Özgür Gündem. All nine defendants in the case, author Aslı Erdoğan, linguist Necmiye Alpay, journalists Ragıp Zarakolu, Bilge Contepe, Filiz Koçali, editor-in-chief Bilir Kaya, the holder of the newspaper’s publication rights, Kemal Sancılı, the paper’s Responsible Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya and lawyer and former co-editor-in-chief Eren Keskin, are charged with “membership in a terrorist organisation,” “damaging the unity of the state,” “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “establishing an organisation for the purpose of committing crime.”
18 Oct 2016
On 23 August 2016, Özgür Gündem daily’s Editor-in-Chief Zana Kaya and Chief Editor İnan Kızılkaya were arrested on charge of being a member of an illegal organization. Kaya and Kızılkaya who denied the accusations have filed complaints against the police officers for having beaten them during their six-day detention.
22 Aug 2016
23 staff members of Özgur Gündem Daily have been released, according to EFJ. Journalist Aslı Erdoğan is the only one to be kept in detention to date.
Follow-ups
04 Apr 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative says sentencing journalists to prison greatly damages media freedom in Turkey following Özgür Gündem trial.
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
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31 Oct 2017 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Aug 2016 Turkey

Özgür Gündem Daily Shut Down and Journalists’ Homes Raided in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
A court in Istanbul ordered on August 16, 2016 the closure of Özgür Gündem newspaper for spreading alleged "propaganda on behalf of the outlawed terrorist organisation". Shortly after the announcement of the newspaper’s closure by authorities, police raided its office in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district. During the police raid, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Zana Kaya, journalists Günay Aksoy, Kemal Bozkurt, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Önder Elaldı, Ender Önder, Sinan Balık, Fırat Yeşilçınar, İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Paksoy, Zeki Erden, Elif Aydoğmuş, Bilir Kaya, Ersin Çaksu, Mesut Kaynar,Sevdiye Gürbüz, Amine Demirkıran, Bayram Balcı, Burcu Özkaya, Yılmaz Bozkurt, Gülfem Karataş, Gökhan Çetin, Hüseyin Gündüz and Aslı Erdoğan were taken in custody by the authorities. Media freedom organisations condemned the violence of the detentions.

Following the closure of Özgür Gündem, the authorities raided the next day (17 August) the house of Ragip Zarakolu, a journalist, writer and editor known for his publishing work on minority rights in Turkey. The writer was not home but his books about Armenian, Pontus and Assyrian genocides have been confiscated by the authorities. Houses of journalists Eren Keskin and Filiz Koçali have also been raided by the police for similar purpose.

The total number of staff members detained has risen to 24, P24 reported on 16 August.
Updates
08 Mar 2018
On 6 March 2018, the 23rd High criminal court of Istanbul lifted the arrest warrant against Özgür Gündem advisory board member Ragıp Zarakolu on grounds that the court had been notified of his address of residence in Sweden where he now lives in exile. The trial was adjourned to 4th June.
31 Oct 2017
On the fifth hearing in the main trial of Özgür Gündem daily held on 31 October 2017, the Court decided to release the managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya pending trial. The Court also placed him under an international travel ban. The next hearing will be on 6 March 2018.
08 Sep 2017
On 7 September 2017, Aslı Erdoğan was given back her passport, after the travel ban imposed on her was lifted in June 2017.
28 Aug 2017
Eren Keskin, former editor-in-chief of the Özgür Gündem daily, was released on 25 August 2016 after being referred to a court by prosecutors. She was then placed under a travel ban.
29 Dec 2016
On 29 December 2016, Aslı Erdoğan was released and a travel ban was imposed on her pending trial.The hearing is set for 22 June 2017. Zana Kaya was also released.
14 Nov 2016
On 10 November 2016, a prosecutor in Istanbul asked for life sentences for nine journalists and executives from Özgür Gündem. All nine defendants in the case, author Aslı Erdoğan, linguist Necmiye Alpay, journalists Ragıp Zarakolu, Bilge Contepe, Filiz Koçali, editor-in-chief Bilir Kaya, the holder of the newspaper’s publication rights, Kemal Sancılı, the paper’s Responsible Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya and lawyer and former co-editor-in-chief Eren Keskin, are charged with “membership in a terrorist organisation,” “damaging the unity of the state,” “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “establishing an organisation for the purpose of committing crime.”
18 Oct 2016
On 23 August 2016, Özgür Gündem daily’s Editor-in-Chief Zana Kaya and Chief Editor İnan Kızılkaya were arrested on charge of being a member of an illegal organization. Kaya and Kızılkaya who denied the accusations have filed complaints against the police officers for having beaten them during their six-day detention.
22 Aug 2016
23 staff members of Özgur Gündem Daily have been released, according to EFJ. Journalist Aslı Erdoğan is the only one to be kept in detention to date.
Follow-ups
04 Apr 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative says sentencing journalists to prison greatly damages media freedom in Turkey following Özgür Gündem trial.
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
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03 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 07 Jan 2016 Turkey

Kurdish Media Journalists Arrested in Turkey

7 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
Nedim Oruç, correspondent for the Kurdish press agency DIHA, was arrested on 6 January 2016 by the authorities in Silopi (Turkey) and charged with “doing propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation”. According to reports in DİHA, Mr Oruç was by force of arms taken to Yenişehir Indoor Sports Hall from a house situated in Şehit Harun neighborhood. According to testimony of eyewitnesses, journalist Oruç was beaten up during his arrest by local police. Media reports say that Mr Oruç is expected to be transferred to Şırnak F-Type Prison.
Updates
New 03 May 2019
The constitutional court rejected Ziya Ataman application on 2 May 2019
01 Apr 2019
Ziya Ataman, a reporter for the now-closed pro-Kurdish news agency DİHA, was arrested on 11 April 2016 under charges of “participating in an operation of a terrorist organisation”. Police detained Ataman after he participated in a protest in the province of Van, eastern Turkey. Ataman, who had previously been a distributor for the shut-down Özgür Gündem newspaper, had been working as an intern reporter at DİHA for seven months. The indictment was prepared in December 2017, almost 20 months after Ataman was arrested, on the basis of a witness statement claiming that Ataman had participated in one of the outlawed PKK attacks. The witness, who is also a relative of Ataman, later filed an official objection to his earlier statement, confessing that he had signed the statement “under threat and torture”. Ataman appeared in court for the first time on 2 March 2018, after almost two years in pre-trial detention, and was not able to give his defense during the second hearing, due to apparent misconnection of the video-conferencing system SEGBIS between his prison cell and the courtroom. Ataman reportedly went on a hunger strike on 1 March 2019. Ataman requested to give his defense in Kurdish at the 26 March 2019 hearing, and the court asked him to provide for translation at the next hearing, adjourning to 28 May 2019.
28 Jan 2019
İdris Sayılğan, a reporter for the now-closed pro-Kurdish news agency DİHA, was arrested on 24 October 2016 on charges of “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “terrorist propaganda”, and sent to a prison in the Trabzon province. The public prosecutor submitted an indictment citing Sayılğan’s news reports and transcriptions of phone calls with his source as criminal evidence. The first court hearing was held in November 2017, although Sayılğan was not physically present. After two years and three months in pre-trial detention, Sayılgan appeared in court for the first time on 25 January 2019, where he was sentenced on charges of “membership in a terrorist organisation” to 8 years and 3 months in prison. Sayılğan claims that he was subjected to torture and strip-search while in detention. His lawyers and the London-based organisation Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) filed a joint application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The Court has granted Sayılğan’s application priority review status. Sayılgan’s case is also pending before the local court of appeals.
17 Dec 2018
Uğur Yılmaz, a former reporter for the shut-down pro-Kurdish news agency DİHA, was arrested on 17 July 2017 in the Bitlis province. Yılmaz, who also worked in the city of Batman’s Press Department, is charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “spreading terrorist propaganda”. The indictment is based on his attendance at several protests and press briefings, photos taken by him and anonymous witness statements as criminal evidence. The public prosecutor seeks a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. After about eight months of pre-trial detention in Bitlis, Yılmaz was sent to a prison in the distant city of Elazığ. The first hearing took place on 16 October 2018, after 16 months in detention, at Bitlis High Criminal Court No. 2, Yılmaz being connected to the courtroom from his cell in Elazığ via the video-conferencing system SEGBİS. Anonymous witness statements claimed seeing the journalist delivering packages on behalf of a terrorist organization, statements which the anonymous witness denied in court, saying that he did “not know the journalist” and that he had made those statements “under the influence of drugs.” At a hearing on 11 December 2018, the court decided to accept the anonymous witness’ testimony, and adjourned to 7 May 2019.
12 Oct 2018
On 28 September 2018, Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Abdülkadir Turay to nine years in prison for "being a member of a [terrorist] organisation” and decided to keep him under arrest.
01 Mar 2018
On 28 February 2018; the Van 4 High Criminal Court ruled for the release of Ayhan Demir pending trial .
30 Mar 2017
On 20 March 2017, journalist Ayhan Demir, editor of Çaldıran Haber Ajansi in the province of Van, has been arrested together with several local politicians following a police raid. Based on media reports, the journalist has been arrested for sharing several messages on social networks and is kept in jail at Van detention center since March 2017.
25 Jan 2017
On 19 January 2017, a journalist for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DIHA) has been detained by the police based on pictures he took during a September event 2014 event in Ağrı called Peace and Nature festival in which flags and banners of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) were visible. The prosecutor accused Abdullah Kaya of being a member of an illegal terrorist organisation. In May 2017, he was released pending trial but on December 2017, he was sent back to jail by the court of appeal which upheld an earlier guilty verdict. He is currently serving a four-year and two-month prison sentence for being a member of an illegal organisation.
12 Jul 2016
On 1st July 2016, the editor of Demokratik Ulus newspaper, Arafat Dayan, was arrested in Tarsus on charges of alleged violations of anti-terrorism laws. Mr Dayan had gone to the Tarsus District Police Station to renew his driver's license when police found an outstanding warrant for his arrest on charges the newspaper did not specify. Mr Dayan is imprisoned since July 2016 at the Silifke prison in Mersin.
13 Jun 2016
On 10 June 2016, a court of Cizre freed Nedim Oruç on bail of 5,000 Turkish liras, after five months' of pre-trial detention. The court banned Oruç from foreign travel.
06 Jun 2016
Emin Demir, a freelance reporter for DIHA news agency, was detained on 31 May 2016 on the basis of his social media posts on charges of "doing propaganda for an illegal organisation" and "inciting the public to hatred". (According to media report), a Court in Mersin condemned the journalist to 4 years in jail for his posts on social media .
30 May 2016
Five persons including DİHA reporter Abdulkadir Turay taken into custody in Mardin on 5 May 2016 were then arrested on charges of “aiding and abetting an [illegal] organization”. The journalist was arrested together with Kurdish politicians during a house raid by Turkish gendarmerie in Savur district of Mardin province. Turay is in detention since May 2016 at Mardin E Type closed prison.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (7):

Abdulkadir Turay, Emin Demir, Arafat Dayan, Abdullah Kaya, İdris Sayılğan, Uğur Yılmaz, Ziya Ataman
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25 Mar 2019 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 18 Jul 2016 Turkey

Journalist Mustafa Cambaz Killed in Failed Coup Attempt

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index IPI
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index IPI
Mustafa Cambaz, a photojournalist with the Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Şafak was killed during the failed coup of Friday 15 July 2016 in Turkey. According to his newspaper, he died of a gunshot to the head when soldiers opened fire on the crowds in the Çengelköy neighborhood of Istanbul in the early hours of Saturday 16 July 2016.
Resolved
25 Mar 2019: On 25 March 2019, taking into consideration the verdict issued by the Istanbul 32th High Criminal Court in one of the 2016 coup attempt trials, including the case of murder of journalist Mustafa Cambaz, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
22 Mar 2019
On 10 December 2018, the Istanbul 32th High criminal court issued its verdict in one of the 2016 coup attempt trials. Out of the 114 defendants (riot police officers and soldiers) 34 were sentenced for aggravated life imprisonment for "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” while 16 were held guilty of “aiding an attempt to overthrow the constitutional order”. Additionally, seven defendants were given two counts of aggravated life sentence and 3 defendants two counts of life sentence for the “deliberate murder” of Mustafa Cambaz.
Follow-ups
21 Jul 2016
OSCE Representative "deeply saddened to learn about Cambaz’ death" calls "the authorities to do their utmost to ensure journalists’ safety and free flow of information during times of crisis".
20 Jul 2016
Regretting “ that journalists were once more victims of violence, at the hands of coup plotters, as well as of citizens resisting them, and that access to several news media on the internet were blocked once more”, the Commissioner for Human Rights said that he “will be closely monitoring the situation in the coming days”.
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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

14 November 2017