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Turkish-Swedish Journalist Detained at Airport Following Request by Turkey

Update: 02 Nov 2017 Resolved
Year 09 Aug 2017 Country Spain Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
09 Aug 2017 Spain B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , EFJ/IFJ , IPI , RSF Level 1

Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçın, who also holds a Swedish passport, was detained by passport police at the El Prat airport in Barcelona on 3 August 2017, where he was vacationing. Police reported to Spanish news agency EFE that he was held by police following Interpol order, Turkish news website Diken reported. The next day he was arrested on charges of “insulting the Turkish president” and “terror propaganda” for an article he wrote for Odak magazine. A group of Swedish journalists have condemned the detention in an open letter, asking the Swedish Government to intervene. Yalçın has lived in Sweden since 1984.

Resolved On 2 November 2017, following the release of Hamza Yalçin and the decision of the Spanish Government not to extradite him to Turkey, 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 29 Sep 2017 : On 29 September 2017, the Spanish Government decided not to extradite Hamza Yalçin to Turkey.
New 29 Sep 2017 : On 28 September 2017, a Spanish judge has granted provisional release from custody of Hamza Yalçin, after Pen International and the Barcelona City Council guaranteed to the court that they would house him in Spain while the extradition claim is being assessed.

State replies

New 05 Oct 2017 : Reply from the Spanish authorities

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

09 Oct 2017 : PACE resolution on abusive recourse to the Interpol system: the need for more stringent legal safeguards

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

Update: 31 Oct 2017 No reply yet
Year 18 Aug 2016 Country Turkey Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
18 Aug 2016 Turkey A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 2
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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

New 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.
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.
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

15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

Update: 25 Oct 2017 No reply yet
Year 27 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 1
27 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Level 1
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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. Currently in detention under this alert (80) : Abdullah Kılıç, Abdürrahim Ersöz, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Yavaş, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Ali Aşikar, Ali Ahmet Böken, Ali Bulaç, Ali Ünal, Ali Yüce, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Kaya, Beytullah Özdemir, Burçin Dokgöz, Cemal Kalyoncu, Cuma Kaya, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erdal Şen, Erol Yüksel, Faruk Akkan, Fevzi Yazici, Gökmen Ulu, Gültekin Avcı, Habip Güler, Hakan Aksel, Hakan Taşdelen, Halil Ibrahim Mert, Hamza Günerigök, Hanim Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, Hüseyin Turan, Ibrahim Balta, İbrahim Karayeğen, Idris Okur, Ilker Ilkan, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Mehmet Özdemir, Mümtazer Türköne, Murat Avcioğlu, Murat Dağdeviren, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mustafa Ünal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Nazlı Ilıcak, Nadir Yücel, Nur Ener, Nuri Durna, Nurullah Kaya, Ömer Oruç, Ömer Özdemir, Özcan Keser, Osman Yakut, Rabia Özkaya, Ramazan Alkan, Resul Cengiz, Şahin Alpay, Serhat Şeftali, Şeref Yılmaz, Seyid Kılıç, Şirin Çoban, Tahsin Kürklü, Tuncer Çetinkaya, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Vahit Yazgan, Yakup Çetin, Yakup Şimşek, Yalçın Güler, Zafer Özsoy. Alert : 80 detentions

Updates

New 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.
New 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'.
New 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.
New 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.
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 a été libéré le 18 février 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

New 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

Judicial Harassment Against Opposition Journalists in Turkey

Update: 25 Oct 2017 No reply yet
Year 18 May 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ Alert level Level 1
18 May 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ Level 1
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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. Currently in detention under this alert (3): Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Meltem Oktay, Oğuz Usluer. Alert : 3 detentions

Updates

New 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

New 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

Turkey: Arrest of At Least 12 Employees of Cumhuriyet Newspaper

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Year 31 Oct 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
31 Oct 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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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. Currently in detention under this alert (4): Ahmet Şık, Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu. Alert : 4 detentions

Updates

New 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

New 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

Uzbek Journalist on Interpol List Detained

Update: 19 Oct 2017 No reply yet
Year 02 Oct 2017 Country Ukraine Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index Alert level Level 1
02 Oct 2017 Ukraine B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index Level 1
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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

New 19 Oct 2017 : On 5 October 2017, Narzullo Okhunjonov was released from the detention center by a decision of the Kyiv prosecutor’s office.

"Die Welt" Correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel Detained

Update: 19 Oct 2017 No reply yet
Year 24 Feb 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
24 Feb 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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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. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

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

New 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

WSJ Journalist Ayla Albayrak Sentenced to Prison by Turkish court

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Year 11 Oct 2017 Country Turkey Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
11 Oct 2017 Turkey C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2
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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.

French Journalist Detained at Iraq Border, Arrested on Terror Charges

Update: 15 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 03 Aug 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
03 Aug 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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French journalist Loup Bureau was arrested in Şırnak on charges of assisting a terror organisation on 2 August 2017.The journalist was first detained on 26 July at the Habur crossing, where he was crossing into Turkey from Iraq. Authorities have said the French journalist was arrested on charges of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation.” He was placed in Şırnak Prison and a gag order was imposed on his case. BBC Turkish reported that the journalist visited Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, and returned two weeks ago to Turkey, where he was detained under a prosecutorial warrant. An academic thesis he wrote on the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia force in Syria, and some of the photographs he had taken were used as evidence.

Updates

15 Sep 2017 : On 15 September 2017, Loup Bureau's lawyers announced that he had been released from prison and was soon to be expelled from Turkey.

Follow-ups

07 Aug 2017 : OSCE Media Freedom Representative addressed the Turkish authorities demanding immediate release of French journalist Loup Bureau and to drop charges.

Journalist Aslı Ceren Aslan Arrested Since February 2017

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Year 07 Sep 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Aslı Ceren Aslan, the editor-in-chief of the Özgür Gelecek newspaper, was detained on 9 Febuary 2017 in Turkey's southeastern Urfa province on charges of “border violation” and “being a member of an [illegal] organization”. She reportedly denied the charges and said she had been reporting on the latest developments in northern Syria. Aslan's attorney said that Aslan had been arrested for being a member of an [illegal] organization although there was no such evidence and noted that Aslan had been beaten in detention and was forced to strip naked for examination in Ceylanpınar Gendarmerie Command and Urfa Anti-Terror Department. Alert : 1 detention

Three Media Outlets Closed by Statutory Decree Number 693

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Year 25 Aug 2017 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
25 Aug 2017 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 2
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Two new statutory decrees (numbered 693 and 694) prepared by Turkey's Council of Ministers, as part of the State of Emergency, have been published in the Turkish Official Gazette on 25 August 2017. Based on statutory decree number 693, three media outlets - Dicle Medya Haber Ajansi, Gazete Sujin and Rojeva Medya - have been closed. Movables and all sorts of assets, documents and rights that belong to the closed institutes and institutions will be transferred for free and without compensation to the Treasury.

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

Update: 31 Jul 2017 State replied
Year 27 Nov 2015 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner RSF , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
27 Nov 2015 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State RSF , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1

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

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

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

Update: 14 Jun 2017 No reply yet
Year 25 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 1
25 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 1
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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. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

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.

Two Turkish Journalists, Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan, Charged with "Inciting Armed Rebellion"

Update: 24 May 2017 State replied
Year 05 Nov 2015 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
05 Nov 2015 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1

On 3 November 2015, an Istanbul court charged and imprisoned, Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan, respectively the publisher and the editor of a weekly magazine Nokta. The detention pending trial is officially based on a serious charge: "incitement to armed rebellion against the government." The latest issue of Nokta featured the following headline on the cover: "Monday, 2 November 2015, the beginning of a civil war in Turkey." Remaining copies of the magazine have been seized by the police and Nokta's website has been blocked. Murat Çapan has already been prosecuted for "insulting the president" and "terrorist propaganda" after publishing on Nokta’s cover page on 14 September 2015 a picture of President Erdogan taking a ‘selfie’ beside a soldier’s coffin. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

24 May 2017 : On 22 May 2017, the İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court sentenced Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan to 22 years and 6 months imprisonment for “inciting people to armed revolt against the Turkish government.” and issued arrest warrants. On 24 May 2017, Murat Çapan was detained along with seven other people while attempting to illegally leave Turkey for Greece, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Güven is currently living in exile.
30 Dec 2015 : On 29 December 2015, an Istanbul court ruled for the release of Nokta magazine's editor-in-chief, Cevheri Güven, and its chief news editor, Murat Çapan, pending trial.

State replies

30 Nov 2015 : Response of the Turkish Government (information provided by the Ministry of Justice)

Follow-ups

New 01 Oct 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

Temporary Closure of Azerbaijani TV Channel

Update: 19 Apr 2017 No reply yet
Year 20 Jul 2016 Country Azerbaijan Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
20 Jul 2016 Azerbaijan E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2
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On 19 July 2016, Azerbaijan’s National Television and Radio Council ordered the temporary closure of ANS TV, a pro-government private television channel. The order was in response to the channel’s plans to broadcast an interview with Turkish Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of organising the failed coup attempt that took place in Turkey on 15 July 2016. The channel will be shut for at least one month. Gülen denies all involvement in the coup. In an official statement, the National Television and Radio Council stated that the decision was made further to an appeal by the General Prosecutor on 18 July 2016. Its actions are in accordance with Article 11 of the Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting, which empowers the Council to take measures to prevent the propaganda of terrorism, violence, cruelty, discrimination on ethnic, racial and religious grounds. The Council justified its decision on the grounds of “avoiding provocations aimed at damaging the strategic partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan and to prevent obvious promotion of terrorism “. Radio Free Europe has reported that the Turkish Embassy in Baku had expressed “deep concern” about the proposed broadcasting. The National Council has also filed a lawsuit to the court demanding the withdrawal of ANS TV channel’s license, on the basis that the channel has violated provisions and conditions of the license (article 11.4.4. of Broadcasting Law) that prohibit “propaganda of terrorism, violence, cruelty” (article 32.0.5) and “incitement to mass unrest and terrorism” (article 23.2.5.). The head of the National Council said that the future of “ANS Broadcasting Media Company” is now in the competence of the judicial authorities.

Updates

19 Apr 2017 : On 19 April 2017 the Supreme Court rejected the appeals filed by ANS TV against the termination of its TV and Radio activities.
29 Jul 2016 : On 29 July 2016 the broadcasting licence of ANS TV was officially revoked. The company filed a cassation appeal.

Azerbaijan Arrested Prominent Journalist Rauf Mirkadyrov for Espionage

Update: 10 Mar 2017 No reply yet
Year 19 May 2015 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
19 May 2015 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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Rauf Mirkadyrov is a well-known columnist of the independent Russian-language newspaper “Zerkalo”. On 9 April 2014, Mirkadyrov was arrested in Baku by Azerbaijan's national security service, the MNB, and charged with espionage. He was deported back to Azerbaijan from Turkey, where he was based for three years. The Azerbaijani prosecutor-general's office accused him of meeting with Armenian security services and handing them state secrets. The journalist denies the allegations, considering them as absurd and politically motivated. He often criticised both Turkish and Azerbaijani authorities for human rights abuses. On November 20, 2014, a day after the term of arrest expired, the Nasimi Court Judge unlawfully extended Mirkadyrov’s arrest for a further five months. The case is now submitted to the European Court of Human Rights: the complaint to the ECHR raises the question on the violation of Mirkadyrov’s right to freedom and security of person and a fair trial, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Updates

10 Mar 2017 : On 10 March 2017 Mirkadyrov was granted the status of political refugee in Switzerland, where he had been living since September 2016.
17 Mar 2016 : On 17 March 2016, journalist Rauf Mirkadyrov was released on probation by the Baku Court of Appeal.
30 Dec 2015 : On 28 December 2015, the Baku Serious Crimes Court sentenced Rauf Mirkadyrov, an independent journalist who was the co-founder of the opposition newspaper Bizim Yol in Azerbaijan, to six year of imprisonment on trumped-up charges of spying. Mirkadyrov covered the Nagorno-Karabakh region and participated in various projects aimed at fostering dialogue among civil society groups and finding a solution to a stalemate that has endured since 1994. Based in Turkey for the previous three years, he was arbitrarily stripped of his residence permit and deported on 18 April 2014 to Azerbaijan, where he was arrested on arrival.
21 Oct 2015 : The criminal case against the journalist Rauf Mirkadyrov accused of high treason has been sent to the Baku Court of Grave Crimes.

Turkey: Two Journalists Detained under State of Emergency Provisions

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 07 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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Journalists Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim Polat have been detained for over two weeks, under 'State of Emergency' provisions in Turkey. The journalists, who work for the daily newspaper Evrensel, were detained on 23 August in the province of Mersin, Turkey. The journalists were covering a Kurdish demonstration at the time of their arrest. According to Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), the journalists have not been allowed family visits and, despite repeated efforts to obtain information, their families still have no clear understanding about the journalists’ situation and official charges have not yet been issued. The Mersin Police Chief reportedly refused to provide information on their situation. Furthermore, the journalists’ lawyer stated that they have been "exposed to insults and threats in prison.”

Updates

18 Oct 2016 : On 6 October 2016, Evrensel’s Mersin correspondent Cemil Uğur appeared before a Mersin Criminal Judicature of Peace. The court ordered his arrest on charges of being a member of an [illegal organization] and of making propaganda on behalf of an [illegal] organization. On October 11, Evrensel reporter Halil İbrahim Polat appeared before a Mersin Criminal Judicature of Peace, following a prosecutor’s objection to his release. He was released by the court on the same day after his interrogation.
08 Sep 2016 : On 8 September 2016, following a 16-day detention, Evrensel reporters Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim have been released on probation.

Follow-ups

15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Turkish Government Shuts Down 15 Pro-Kurdish Media Outlets

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 02 Nov 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 2
02 Nov 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI Level 2
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On Saturday 29 October 2016, the Turkish government issued two decrees (No 675 and 676) shutting down 15 pro-Kurdish media outlets. 11 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines are affected: • Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Batman Çağdaş , Cizre Postası , Güney Express, İdil Haber, Kızıltepe’nin Sesi, Prestij Haber, Urfanatik and Yüksekova Haber; • News agencies: Dicle News Agency (DİHA) and Jin News Agency; • Magazines: Tiroji, Özgürlük Dünyası and arts and culture magazine Evrensel Kültür. The latest closures bring the number of media outlets shut down in Turkey to 168 under state of emergency, a situation which allows the government to close any media organisation by issuing a cabinet decree.

Follow-ups

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

At least Twenty TV and Radio Channels Removed from Türksat, the National Satellite Operator

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 30 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
30 Sep 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 2
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On 28 September 2016, the Turkish national satellite operator Türksat, the only communications satellite operator in Turkey, pulled the signal of twelve TV channels in Turkey - including IMC TV, Hayatın Sesi, Azadi TV, Jiyan TV, Van TV, TV 10, Denge TV and Zarok TV as well as a number of radio channels. An official at the Radio and Television Supreme Council, the state watchdog, confirmed that twenty stations were being closed. This administrative decision of Türksat, which undermines the public’s right to access information, was done on a direct order from the Government, which cited charges of “spreading terrorist propaganda” and “national security” as reasons for this shutdown.

Follow-ups

15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Forced Closure of Turkey TV channels ON4 and Kanal12

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Year 10 Feb 2017 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 2
10 Feb 2017 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI Level 2
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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.

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