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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
New 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 Sept 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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15 Apr 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 15 Apr 2019
On April 11-hearing, 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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15 Apr 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 31 Oct 2016 Turkey

Turkey: Arrest of At Least 12 Employees of Cumhuriyet Newspaper

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 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
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
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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 15 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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28 Mar 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 28 Mar 2019
On 28 March 2019, a Turkish court dismissed the case against Pelin Ünker due to the statute of limitations specified in the Turkish Press Law.
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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
New 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
New 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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14 Mar 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 05 Oct 2018 Turkey

Saudi Journalist Disappears During Visit to Saudi Consulate in Turkey

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
A Saudi journalist who is a fierce critic of the Saudi regime vanished on 2 October 2018 during a visit to a Saudi consulate in Turkey, the Washington Post reported. Jamal Khashoggi is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, in which capacity he has for the past year documented the changes taking place in Saudi Arabia, where the authorities under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman claim to be implementing a reform process. He disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where according to the Washington Post he went “to complete routine paperwork”. Khashoggi was accompanied to the consulate by his fiancée, who was not allowed to go inside with him. He was also required to surrender his mobile phone on entering the building. As of 5 October, Khashoggi had not re-emerged from the building and there was no further word from him.
Updates
New 14 Mar 2019
On 14 March 2019, the Committee to Protect Journalists in collaboration with 10 human rights and press freedom groups sent a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee aiming to urge congressional action in the pursuit of justice for murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
22 Oct 2018
On 22 October 2018, Saudi Arabia admitted that the journalist was killed in the Saudi consulate on 2 October by a “rogue operation”, arrested 18 people involved in the operation and fired top security officials. On 23 October, Turkey’s President addressing the legislators from the Justice and Development Party, called the killing a political murder and stated that the Turkish intelligence and security institutions have sufficient evidence showing the murder was planned and that “pinning such a case on a handful of security and intelligence members will not be sufficient to satisfy the international community”.
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25 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 25 Jul 2016 Turkey

Journalist Zehra Doğan Arrested and Charged with "Membership of an Illegal Organisation"

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Zehra Doğan, JINHA editor (women's news agency) and a painter, was arrested by the police in Mardin, south-east of Turkey, on 22 July. She was taken to the Nusaybin police office the day after. According to reports, the authorities accused her of "being a member of the terrorist organisation PKK". The police presented Doğan 's paintings, along with her news reports and her social media posts, as evidence of this membership. The reason cited for the decision to detain her was a testimony by a confidential witness who reportedly claimed that Zehra had worked alongside DİHA reporter Bilal Gülden, also reporting from Nusaybin. Doğan was sent to the court which ordered her pre-trial detention and was transferred to Mardin Women's Prison.
Updates
New 25 Feb 2019
On 24 February 2019, Zehra Doğan was released after serving her full sentence.
14 Jun 2017
After losing her final appeal (2 June 2017), Zehra Doğan was arrested on 12 June 2017 and sent to Diyarbakır Prison.
02 Mar 2017
In March 2017, the court ruled that Ms Doğan be acquitted of the crime of "being a member of a terrorist organisation" but sentenced her for "propagandising for a terrorist organization" to 2 years, 9 months and 22 days in prison for her social media postings.
06 Dec 2016
On 6 December 2016, Zehra Doğan was released pending trial.
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22 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Apr 2018 Turkey

ETHA Journalists Detained and Arrested in Turkey

2 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Following a police raid on 13 April 2018, several journalists working for the left-wing ETHA news agency, Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp and Adil Demirci were detained by the authorities on charges of alleged propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation. According to the news agency, the detained journalists were not allowed to inform their lawyers, friends or family members about their situation. On 17 April, ETHA journalist Adil Demirci living in Cologne (Germany) and visiting his family was formally arrested by a court in Istanbul on charges of alleged membership of an illegal organisation and doing propaganda for the same organisation. The ETHA agency confirms that all defendants are detained or arrested for their journalistic activities and believes that the government is aiming to silence political dissent. No access has been granted to the details of the dossier by the authorities invoking the secrecy of the judiciary. ETHA news agency counts also the following colleagues Isminaz Temel (editor), Havva Custan (reporter) and Ali Sönmez Kayar (reporter) put in jail and charged with heavy imprisonment sentence. The trial of Mesale Tolu, a Turkish-German ETHA reporter and translator was released in December 2017 is still ongoing.
Updates
22 Feb 2019
On 14 February 2019, the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul issued an interim ruling deciding to release İsminaz Temel under judicial control and adjourned the trial until 24 April 2019.
22 Feb 2019
On 14 February 2019, the 25th High Criminal Court of Istanbul issued an interim ruling, releasing Adil Demirci. The court imposed on Demirci a ban on leaving Istanbul. The next hearing in the case will take place on 30 April 2019.
08 Nov 2018
On 31 October 2018, the 32nd Heavy Penal Court in İstanbul ruled to release on probation reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar. An international travel ban has also been imposed on the defendant by the court.
22 Jul 2018
On 17 July 2018, a court issued an interim decision and released reporters Havva Cuştan, İsmail Geçer, Meral Tatar, Onur Binbir and Özgen Saadet, while ordering to keep editor İsminaz Temel, in jail.
20 Apr 2018
On 19 April 2018, detained ETHA journalists Adil Demirci, Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp were arraigned on charges of membership of an illegal organisation and propaganda.
Follow-ups
18 Apr 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative worried about the arrest Etkin Haber Ajans reporter Adil Demirci, on terrorism charges and continued detention of journalists Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (2):

Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp
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19 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Jul 2016 Turkey

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

76 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
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.
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".
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, an Istanbul court convicted 10 people affiliated with the shuttered Feza Media Group, publisher of the daily Zaman, on terrorism-related charges. All of the defendants were acquitted on charges of "attempting to eliminate the constitutional order”. Murat Avcıoğlu, Cuma Kaya, Alaattin Güner, Hüseyin Turan and Zafer Ozsoy were released on probation pending appeal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ve Zafer Özsoy tutuklu, Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyinçelebi, 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.
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 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 (76):

Abdullah Kılıç, Abdürrahim Ersöz, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Yavaş, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, 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 Kaya, 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, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, Hüseyin Turan, Ibrahim Balta, Idris Okur, Ilker Ilkan, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Mümtazer Türköne, Murat Avcioğlu, Murat Dağdeviren, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mustafa Ünal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Nazlı Ilıcak, Nadir Yücel, Nuri Durna, Nurullah Kaya, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, Ömer Oruç, Ömer Özdemir, Özcan Keser, Osman Yakut, Rabia Özkaya, Ramazan Alkan, Resul Cengiz, Serhat Şeftali, Şeref Yılmaz, Seyid Kılıç, Şirin Çoban, Tahsin Kürklü, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Vahit Yazgan, Yakup Çetin, Yakup Şimşek, Yalçın Güler, Zafer Özsoy, Murat Aksoy.
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13 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 May 2017 Turkey

Judicial Harassment Against Opposition Journalists in Turkey

3 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
New media reports stress the critical situation of the young (27 year old) female Turkish journalist and law student Ayşenur Parıldak, arrested over 9 months ago, and released by court order on 2 May 2017 and immediately re-arrested on the same day on new charges related to the same facts (being a correspondent for the Zaman newspaper). Similarly in mid-April 2017, 12 journalists (Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan Acar, Abdullah Kılıç, Oğuz Usluer, Atilla Taş, Hüseyin Aydın, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan, Seyit Kılıç and Yetkin Yıldız) who were arrested on 30 August 2016 for being members of an illegal terrorist organisation were released by a court in Istanbul and immediately re-arrested on charges of “trying to topple the constitutional order and the Turkish government” based on the same facts. In April 2017, in the city of Nusaybin, the female journalist Meltem Oktay, who is working for DIHA news agency was detained for reporting under the state of emergency, was released by a court decision in Mardin and re-arrested immediately on charges of “doing propaganda” by another court in Edirne, Also in the same month in the city of Antalya, 5 detained journalists (out of 8) were released by a court and then re-arrested immediately by another court decision on other charges based on the same facts.
In some of these cases, even those judges ordering the release of journalists were prosecuted and suspended for taking these decisions, which raises questions about access to a fair trial for detained journalists.
Updates
13 Feb 2019
Atilla Taş was released on probation on 8 February 2019.
25 Oct 2018
On 22 October 2018, the 2nd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld Atilla Taş's sentence. Accordingly, on 9 November, he was imprisoned to serve the remainder of that sentence.
25 Oct 2017
Atilla Taş was released from pretrial detention by an İstanbul court on 24 October 2017. According to the decision of the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court, Taş 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.
Follow-ups
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
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (3):

Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Meltem Oktay, Oğuz Usluer.
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18 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Jan 2019 Turkey

Turkey Deports Dutch Journalist without Explanation

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
On 17 January 2019, the journalist Ans Boersma, Turkey correspondent for the Dutch financial paper Het Financieele Dagblad, was deported from Turkey. Ms Boersma was apprehended by Turkish police the day before, following her visit to the migration office to renew her residence permit as a foreign correspondent. Nine days before her arrest, she had received her accreditation and press card from the Turkish authorities for the year 2019. Ms Boersman was detained in a police office in Bakırköy for over five hours, before being transferred to another police station close to Atatürk airport, where she spent the night.
The police told the journalist that she was posing a threat to Turkey’s national security without any formal explanation or evidence. She has not even been provided with any legal document confirming her deportation.
Thomas Bruning, General Secretary of the Dutch union of journalists (NVJ) strongly condemned the deportation and said : “Turkey shows its dark side again with the deportation of our Dutch colleague Ans Boersma. It’s another sad example of the grim situation for journalists in Turkey, with dozens of journalists behind bars. We ask the European Union and the Dutch government to take action.” According to a statement put out by Het Financieele Dagblad, Boersma suspects she was deported because she had a relationship until 2015 with a Syrian man who was arrested for alleged links to al-Nusra Front.
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07 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 06 Dec 2018 Romania

Turkish Journalist Kamil Demirkaya Detained in Romania

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
On 5 December 2018, Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaya was detained by the Romanian police and brought before the Court of Appeal in Bucharest on the basis of an extradition request issued by the Turkish authorities. Demirkaya was editor-in-chief of Zaman-Bulgaria media outlet between 2003 and 2011. He returned to Turkey but moved to Bucharest with his family in 2016. The extradition request is related to accusations of membership to the Gülen movement or ''FETÖ'' illegal terrorist organisation as referred by the Turkish government's lexicon. According to Demirkaya's family, the verdict should be issued on 6 December. The journalist has been living in Romania for two years now with his wife and his son, holding only a temporary residence permit. In November 2018, he filed for the extension of the residence permit, the documents are being processed by the Romanian authorities. He has no criminal record and has not committed any crime in Turkey according to documents present on the Turkish Ministry of Justice website. FAIR-MediaSind, the Romanian union of journalists, expressed its solidarity with Kamil Demirkaya and asked the authorities to release him. Romanian MEP Cristian Preda has warned that if Romania extradites the Turkish journalist, it will "lose all credibility in Brussels”. "Demirkaye runs the Zaman newspaper's Bucharest office, which criticises the Erdogan regime. Nothing is more honest,” Preda wrote on his Facebook page. He said the Romanian authorities should respect the international commitments they had made not to extradite citizens to countries where human rights are in danger, and Turkey is one such country.
Resolved
07 Jan 2019: On 7 January 2019, considering that the journalist has been released and the extradition request rejected, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
14 Dec 2018
On 14 December, a Bucharest Court of Appeal judge rejected Turkey’s request to extradite Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaye.
State replies
20 Dec 2018
Reply from the Romanian authorities
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28 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 28 Dec 2018 Turkey

Turkey: Prosecutor investigating TV anchor Fatih Portakal “for openly inciting others to commit a crime”, following criticism by the President

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
On 28 December 2018, a Turkish Prosecutor launched investigation into Fox TV journalist and TV anchor Fatih Portakal, for “openly inciting others to commit a crime”, shortly after Turkish President repeatedly criticised the journalist for his comments.

The prosecutor's investigation comes after the journalist speculated whether Turks could protest like those in the Yellow Vest movement in France. Turkish President has targeted Fatih Portakal several times in December 2018. "Know your place. If you do not know your place, this nation will hit you in the back of your neck. Nobody can play games with my nation's honour. That would cost them dear", said Mr Erdoğan. Representatives from journalism organisations in Turkey harshly critised Mr Erdoğan's comments and said that they will hold the president accountable if anything happened to the journalist.
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 11 Oct 2017 Turkey

WSJ Journalist Ayla Albayrak Sentenced to Prison by Turkish court

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 10 October 2017, a Turkish court sentenced Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak to two years and one month in prison, declaring her guilty of engaging in terrorist propaganda in support of a banned Kurdish separatist organization through one of her articles. Ms. Albayrak, who is currently in New York, has announced her intention to appeal the decision. Turkish legal actions against Ms. Albayrak began after the publication on 19 August 2015, on the WSJ's website of her article “Urban Warfare Escalates in Turkey’s Kurdish-Majority Southeast.” The article and accompanying video reported on the state of a conflict in Silopi, Turkey, between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. It included interviews with the local mayor and residents, a Turkish government official, as well as a representative of an organization Turkey says is the youth unit of the PKK. In November of the same year, Ms. Albayrak, who has dual Finnish and Turkish citizenship, received a written order on her door to visit her local police station in Istanbul where she was notified she was under investigation for spreading terrorist propaganda. Ms. Albayrak said in a statement included in the court documents that the original article didn’t include any praise for the group, but rather provided a balanced and objective view of urban warfare that had gripped areas of Turkey’s southeast at the time.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: On 13 November 2018, the Gaziantep Court of Appeal has overturned the prison sentence given to Ayla Albayrak. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
15 Nov 2018
On 13 November 2018, the Gaziantep Court of Appeal has overturned the prison sentence given to Ayla Albayrak on 10 October 2017. The court dismissed the case on procedural grounds, citing statute of limitations, and did not rule on the substance of the charges.
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 10 Feb 2017 Turkey

Forced Closure of Turkey TV channels ON4 and Kanal12

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI
On 23 January 2017, two more Turkish TV channels, ON4 and KANAL 12, were closed down by order of the government. The forced closures were reportedly effected under emergency decrees numbers 682, 683, 684 and 685. An immediate protest was issued by the Journalists Support Committee of the Campaign for Freedom in Journalism and Broadcasting, which called on the government to rescind the order and permit the channels to resume broadcasting. The authors of that protest declared the closure orders a clear violation of articles 26 and 27 of the Turkish constitution, and of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to the Journalists Support Committee of the Campaign for Freedom in Journalism and Broadcasting, these two closures increase to 151 the total number of media outlets closed down by government intervention since the enactment of the state of emergency laws in Turkey in July 2016 and add to the large number of journalists who have been deprived of their employment and their source of income by state actions.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: On 5 June 2018, the Turkish Inquiry Commission on the State of Emergency Measures (OHAL Commission) ruled to lift the closure decision. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 07 Sep 2016 Belgium

Zaman Newspaper Forced to Close Belgian Editions

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Zaman, the Turkish language newspaper published in Brussels is to close all its Belgian editions, according to the Editor-in-Chief of Zaman Belgium. Zaman journalists have received death threats and subscribers are also cancelling subscriptions following intimidating threats allegedly received from members of the Turkish community in Belgium since the failed coup attempt on 15 July in Turkey. The Zaman Group is viewed as a pro-Gülen movement media, and this religious movement is accused by the Turkish authorities of being the main actor behind the attempted coup. The Belgian authorities did not act to ensure the safety of journalists working in Belgium or protect the publication from verbal threats targeting advertisers and subscribers, resulting in its closure. Following the closure, 12 journalists will have lost their jobs at Zaman's Belgium edition.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 21 Dec 2016 Belgium

Belgium Arrests a Kurdish Journalist at Turkey's Request

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 15 December 2016 the Kurdish journalist known as Maxime Azadi was arrested near Turnhout, in Belgium, during routine checks by the Belgian police. Maxime Azadi runs the Kurdish press agency Firat news (ANF), set in the Netherlands. He also holds the blog called « Beyond the information » (in French, « Au-delà de l’information ») on the French online Platform Mediapart. He was arrested by the Belgian police upon a request made by the Turkish authorities, which had placed an Interpol lookout (a « red notice ») against the journalist, suspected of having « cooperated with a terrorist organisation ». On 16 December 2016 the investigative judge from Turnhout placed the journalist under a detention warant. On 19 December, the journalist’s lawyer, Luc Walleyn, filed a motion for interim release. It should be examined on Friday 23 December by the Judges' Council Chamber of Turnhout. If the detention warrant is confirmed, the Belgian political authorities will have to rule on Maxime Azadi’s extradition to Turkey.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: On 23 December 2016, journalist Maxime Azadi was released on bail by the Judges' Council Chamber of Turnhout. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
03 Jan 2017
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
Disclaimer
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09 Nov 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 02 Oct 2017 Ukraine

Uzbek Journalist on Interpol List Detained

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
On 25 September 2017, a Kyiv court approved a 40-day detention period for Narzullo Okhunjonov, who has been living in exile since 2013. Authorities detained Okhunjonov under an international arrest warrant on 20 September, when he arrived in Ukraine with his family from Turkey to seek political asylum. The authorities noted that his name was on an Interpol list. Uzbekistan filed the international warrant for Okhunjonov on a fraud charge.

The journalist, who left Uzbekistan to avoid politically motivated persecution for his reporting, denies the charges. Okhunjonov writes critically, in Uzbek and Russian, from exile for sites including BBC Uzbek about Uzbekistan's authoritarian government, particularly on the the late President Islam Karimov.

The journalist arrived in Kyiv from Turkey with his wife and five children. His family is currently in the capital of Ukraine.
Updates
09 Nov 2018
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has refused to extradite Uzbek journalist Narzullo Akhunzhonov to Uzbekistan, according to a letter from the Prosecutor General′s Office addressed to Akhunzhonov that was made public on 7 November 2018.
19 Oct 2017
On 5 October 2017, Narzullo Okhunjonov was released from the detention center by a decision of the Kyiv prosecutor’s office.
State replies
18 Dec 2017
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
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02 Nov 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 30 Dec 2015 Turkey

Murder of Syrian Journalist Naji Jerf in Turkey

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryImpunity for murder
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ Index
Naji Jerf, a 38 year-old Syrian journalist, was gunned down in a busy street of Gaziantep (Southeastern Turkey) on Sunday 27 December 2015, in broad daylight. Jerf was the founder and editor of the opposition magazine Henta and had made several films about atrocities by both Islamic Slate and the Syrian government, including his film « ISIL in Aleppo », a documentary on the Islamic State’s execution of many Syrian activists.
Jerf had just obtained a visa for France and he was expected to leave the country in January.
In his visa application letter, he explained he was facing reiterated threats on himself and his family since the release of his documentary in December and his willingness to go to France with his family for protection. So far, it is not clear who is responsible for this assassination.
Updates
02 Nov 2018
On 2nd November 2018, the partners organisations of the platform decided to transfer this alert to the category of ‘impunity for murder’, based on their assessment of the lack of sufficient progress in the investigation of this case.
14 Jun 2017
On 9 June 2017, a court in the south-eastern province of Gaziantep passed two life sentences on Yusef Hamed Al-Shefreihi , one for Naji Jerf’s murder and one for “trying to overthrow the constitutional order”. Three suspects – Farag Al-Hussein, Ali Cerkez and Reyad Matar – were acquitted over a lack of evidence. Media freedom advocacy organisations criticised the trial for failing to involve the family and for leaving many questions unanswered including the motive for the murder, how it was carried out, the convicted murderer's profile and the possible involvement of other individuals.
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Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

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”.