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Journalist Ahmet Şık Detained

Update: 25 Jul 2017 No reply yet
Year 11 Jan 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
11 Jan 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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Since 29 December 2016, the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık is 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 He spent a year in prison for an unpublished critical book about the Gülen movement supported, at that time, by the AKP government.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. Cumhuriyet daily where Ahmet Şık is working counts another 10 journalists and media workers currently in jail. The names are Akin Atalay (lawyer), Murat Sabuncu (editor-in-chief), Kadri Gürsel (columnist), Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Turhan Günay, Önder Celik, Bülent Utku (lawyer), Musa Kart (cartoonist) and M. Kemal Güngör.

Follow-ups

New 25 Jul 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists

Turkey: Arrest of at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper

Update: 25 Jul 2017 No reply yet
Year 31 Oct 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
31 Oct 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index 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.

Updates

New 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).
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 25 Jul 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
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

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

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

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

New 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

Editor-in-Chief of Cumhuriyet Detained, Accused of Terrorist Propaganda

Update: 15 Jun 2017 No reply yet
Year 16 May 2017 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
16 May 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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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. Akin Atalay was arrested on 13 November 2016, Murat Sabuncu, Hakan Karasinir, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Güray Öz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Önder Celik, Turhan Günay and Kadri Gürsel were arrested on 15 November 2016, Ahmet Şık was arrested on 29 December 2016.

Updates

New 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 September 14, 2017.

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

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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.

Updates

New 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.

Criminal Investigation Opened Against Journalists for Solidarity Campaign

Update: 09 Jun 2017 No reply yet
Year 25 May 2016 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
25 May 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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On 18 May 2016 Turkish judicial authorities opened a criminal investigation against six journalists and trade unionists for participating in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. The journalists include Ertugrul Mavioglu, Faruk Eren, Ayse Düzkan, Mustafa Sönmez, Melda Onur and Erol Önderoglu. The Co-Editorship-in-Chief campaign was launched by Özgür Gündem daily on 3 May 2016 for World Press Freedom Day (#WPFD) where up to 16 journalists participated.Requests have been filed for the journalists and trade unionists to testify for articles that are being considered "terrorist propaganda" and an "incitement to crime" which were published whilst they participated in the solidarity campaign.

Updates

New 09 Jun 2017 : The fourth hearing in the trial took place at the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court on 8 June 2017. Önderoğlu and Fincancı were in attendance, while Ahmet Nesin, who is abroad, was not present in the courtroom. The court adjourned the session until 26 December 2017 to wait for the implementation of the arrest order for Nesin and to obtain his defense statement.
01 Jul 2016 : On 1 July 2016, Ahmet Nesin was freed. His release is also conditional. Charges against him are still outstanding.
30 Jun 2016 : Turkey Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) Chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey Representative Erol Önderoğlu, who were arrested on charge of "terrorist propaganda" for participating in Özgür Gündem daily's Editor-in-Chief solidarity campaign were released conditionally on 30 June 2016. Charges are still outstanding and indictments (propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization and praising a crime and criminals) have been accepted by Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court. The first hearing is to be held on 11 November 2016.
29 Jun 2016 : On 26 June 2016, journalists Nadire Mater, Yıldırım Türker, Tuğrul Eryılmaz and Faruk Balıkçı were the next four editors of Özgür Gündem to be questioned on "terrorist propaganda" charges for participating in the solidarity campaign with the newspaper.

Follow-ups

20 Jun 2016 : CoE Commissioner for Human Rights appalled by detention of human rights defenders in Turkey will take this up with the authorities.
20 Jun 2016 : OSCE Representative appalled by imprisonment of two journalists and a human rights activist in Turkey, urges their release

French Satellite Provider under Pressure to Remove Kurdish Med Nûçe TV

Update: 07 Jun 2017 No reply yet
Year 03 Oct 2016 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
03 Oct 2016 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ Level 2
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Eutelsat SA, the French satellite provider hosting over 6000 televisions channels, has notified its intention “to remove immediately” Med Nûçe TV, a Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from Belgium, from its transponder because “the content is not in line with public order directives of the terms between us as well as with the laws which regulate TV distribution in Europe and surrounding countries”. According to EFJ sources, Eutelsat SA has been put under pressure by RTÜK (Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council) to remove the signal of Med Nûçe TV considered as a pro-PKK television channel by Turkish authorities. It follows on the banning by Türksat, at the request of the Turkish government, of around 20 TV channels and radio stations under the state of emergency.

Updates

New 07 Jun 2017 : Eutelsat, following on a request received from the Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council, has notified on 14 April 2017 its intention to remove the signals of Channel News, Ronahi TV and Sterk TV, three television channels broadcasting from EU countries to Kurdish-speaking audience from its transponder because “the content in which statements are made by the leaders of the terrorist organisation called as PKK/KCK”. In an urgent notice sent to the Slovenian service provider STN, Eutelsat writes "you shall stop any transmission within one hour of request of Eutelsat (...) we hereby officially request that you remove the television channels 'Sterk TV and Ronahi TV' from the multiplex you operate in accordance with our agreement".
22 Nov 2016 : On 14 November 2016, the Paris Commercial Court ordered Eutelsat to re-establish the broadcasting of the TV channel Med Nûçe.
18 Nov 2016 : On 14 November 2016, the Paris Commercial Court condemned Eutelsat SA for removing the signal of Newroz TV, on 11 October 2016. The French satellite operator was ordered "to re-establish the broadcasting of programmes" under a penalty of 10.000 € per day of delay.
11 Oct 2016 : On 11 October 2016, Eutelsat removed the signal of Newroz TV, a Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from Sweden, after receiving a direct request from the Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council. Newroz TV is accused by the Turkish authorities of spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK). It is the second Kurdish TV channel to be dropped by Eutelsat in one week. On 3 October, the signal of Med Nûçe TV was also removed and the channel was no longer accessible to viewers.
03 Oct 2016 : On 3 October 2016, Eutelsat removed the signal of Med Nûçe TV and the channel is no longer accessible to viewers.

Five Turkish Journalists Face Prison Sentences of between 50 and 72 Years

Update: 30 May 2017 No reply yet
Year 12 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
12 Jul 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2
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On 20 June 2016, the Istanbul High Criminal Court accepted an indictment served by a prosecutor from the Office of Terrorism and Organised Crime, against five journalists: Ahmet Altan and Yasemin Çongar, former editors of the daily newspaper Taraf; and journalists Mehmet Baransu. Yıldıray Oğur and Tuncay Opçin. The court case will take place in September. Altan, Çongar and Oğur face up to 50 years’ imprisonment each on charges of acquiring, damaging, misusing and stealing documents concerning state security and revealing information concerning the security of the state and its political interests. Baransu and Opçin, are additionally accused of membership and administration of a terrorist organisation and face up to 72 years’ imprisonment each. According to the lawyers of two of the indicted journalists, the indictment raises several questions and concerns. First, 46 pages of the indictment have been copied word-for-word from an indictment written in the case against journalist Can Dündar, who has been named in an entirely separate case. Second, no evidence against the accused is provided or referred to in the indictment. Third, while the indictment focuses in detail on the so-called Balyoz (“Sledgehammer”) papers – a series of documents that Taraf published in 2010 connected to an alleged military coup – the prosecutor does not regard Taraf’s decision to publish the Balyoz papers as criminal and Balyoz does not figure in the charges at all. Instead, the indictment brings charges against the five journalists concerning the “Egemen Operation” plan – a military war plan. However Taraf newspaper did not publish this plan, as a prior judgment of the Turkish Constitutional Court affirms, and denies all charges related to this.

Updates

New 30 May 2017 : As of 30 May 2017, the 5 journalists have either been arrested (Mehmet Altan and Mehmet Baransu are in jail) or escaped the country (Yasemin Çongar, Yıldıray Oğur and Tuncay Opçin are at large).

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.

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)

Judicial Harassment Against Opposition Journalists in Turkey

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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 Aysenur Parildak, 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.

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

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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, 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

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.
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, 12 journalists, arrested during the State of emergency outside the coup probe, were also added to the list of detained journalists: Ali Aşikar, 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.
12 Aug 2016 : As of 12 August 2016, IFJ/EFJ indicates that 74 journalists and media workers were in detention following the 15 July failed coup in Turkey.
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.

Follow-ups

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

"Die Welt" correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel detained

Update: 30 Mar 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.

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

02 Mar 2017 : OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calls on Turkey to decriminalize journalistic work following arrest of Die Welt journalist

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

Turkish Emergency Decree Shuts Down 9 Media Outlets

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 01 Dec 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
01 Dec 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , Index , RSF Level 2
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On 22 November 2016, the Turkish Government issued a new decree ordering the closure of nine more local media outlets, bringing the total number of media outlets and printing houses closed in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15 to 176. According to State Emergency Decree No. 677, 375 civil society organisations and nine media outlets have been closed down for alleged “membership in terrorist organizations or organizations [or] groups that were listed by the National Security Council as acting against the security of the state.” The closed newspapers are: Ekspres daily (Adana), Türkiye Manşet daily (Çorum), Dağyeli daily (Hatay), Akis daily (Kütahya), İpekyolu daily (Ordu), Son Dakika daily (İzmir) and Yedigün daily (Ankara). Habereksen Magazine issued in Samsun and Batman FM radio were also closed down.

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

Turkey: Two Journalists Detained under State of Emergency Provisions

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

Forced Closure of Turkey TV channels ON4 and Kanal12

No reply yet
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.

Cumhuriyet Journalist Canan Coşkun Faces 23 Years in Prison for Alleged Insult

State replied
Year 05 Oct 2015 Country Turkey Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
05 Oct 2015 Turkey C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

Cumhuriyet journalist Canan Coşkun faces more than 23 years in prison on charges of “insulting public officials over their duties” for her report alleging that top judicial officials were able to buy discounted residences from a public real estate company. Daily Cumhuriyet reporter Canan Coşkun reported claims that a lottery to select homebuyers for a housing project in Istanbul’s Başakşehir neighborhood was rigged to favour members of a group of judges and prosecutors with ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Updates

27 Jan 2017 : On 26 January 2017, Istanbul 2nd penal Court of first instance fined journalist Canan Coşkun to 12,600 TL for her report on judges and prosecutors becoming homeowners at a discount rate.

State replies

Follow-ups

17 Mar 2016 : The Venice Commission recommends that Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (Degrading Turkish Nation, State of Turkish Republic, the Organs and Institutions of the State) be redrafted and further amended with the aim of making all the notions used in it clear and specific. Application of this provision should also be limited to statements inciting to violence and hatred.

Masterminds Still not Condemned, Ten Years After the Assassination of Journalist Hrant Dink

No reply yet
Year 19 Jan 2017 Country Turkey Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
19 Jan 2017 Turkey D. Impunity State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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On 19 January 2007, Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist and founder of Agos newspaper, was shot dead at 15:05 on the street in front of his office in Istanbul. The murderer, a 17-year-old Turkish nationalist, and some of his accomplices were apprehended and imprisoned but not all parties involved in the crime have been investigated. In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkish authorities have failed to protect Hrant Dink’s rights to life and freedom of expression. Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that that civil servants and institutions must be investigated for their alleged roles in the journalist’s murder. Public servants who allegedly failed to protect the journalist and prepared false reports are currently being prosecuted at Istanbul 14th penal court.

Follow-ups

19 Jan 2017 : Ten years on, OSCE media freedom representative calls the authorities of Turkey to increase their efforts to ensure that justice is served in the case of journalist Hrant Dink

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

19 Jan 2017 : Case of Dink v.Turkey, ECHR Judgment of 14 September 2010 (Applications n°2668/07, 6102/08, 30079/08, 7072/09 and 7124/09) : Failure of authorities to protect life of a journalist following death threats and to protect freedom of expression of a journalist who had commented on identity of Turkish citizens of Armenian extraction

Six Journalists Detained Without Explanation

Update: 18 Jan 2017 No reply yet
Year 10 Jan 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
10 Jan 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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Journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHA news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHA correspondent), Eray Saygin (Yolculuk daily) and Derya Okatan (ETHA) have been detained by Turkish authorities on 25 December 2016 at 04:30 from their homes in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakır. Derya Okatan (ETHA) is on hunger strike against “state of emergency rulings” since 25 December and Ömer Celik (DIHA) was allegedly beaten during his arrest. Under the state of emergency, Turkish authorities have extended the detention period from 4 to 30 days and lawyers have no access to journalists for more than 5 days. No official reason has been given for these arrests and the journalists claim that they are being badly treated in detention.

Updates

18 Jan 2017 : On 18 January 2017, three of the six journalists were arrested (Tunca Öğreten, Mahir Kanaat and Ömer Celik). The other three were released under judiciary control (Metin Yoksa, Eray Saygin and Derya Okatan).
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