17 May 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 01 Aug 2018 n° 78/2018 Turkey
Turkish Cypriot Journalists Sener Levent and Ali Osman Facing Charges in Turkey
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On 31 July 2018, the Public Prosecutor's Office in Ankara filed criminal charges against reporter and editor Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman of Cyprus daily newspaper "Afrika" over criticism of Turkey military operations in Syria and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The journalists have been informed by the police officers in Northern Cyprus. The first case is filed over the publication concerning the Turkish military operation in Afrin, comparing it to Turkish occupation of Cyprus, published on January 2018. The second case is filed over an article of Levent, "Zorba the Cypriot", criticising the Turkish government, published on February 2018.
17 May 2019
On 16 May 2019, a Northern Cypriot court acquitted Afrika newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Şener Levent, Director Ali Osman Dabak on charges of “defaming a foreign politician”. The Court neither found grounds to constitute the prosecutor’s claims of “damaging relations between Northern Cyprus and Turkey”, ruling that the articles and cartoons in dispute fall within the scope of freedom of expression.
- Cyprus Mail news report: "Union urges government to protect Turkish Cypriot journos, as Ankara tightens grip οn the north"
- Statement of the Union of Cyprus Journalists: "Σ. Λεβέντ και Α. Οσμάν να προστατευθούν από την μήνιν της Άγκυρας"
- IPI statement: "Northern Cypriot journalists targeted by Turkish authorities"
- Iefimerida news report: "Στο εδώλιο στην Aγκυρα η τουρκοκυπριακή εφημερίδα «Αφρίκα» για την «τουρκική εισβολή στην Αφρίν»"
- Evrensel news report: "Kıbrıslı 2 gazeteci ifadeye çağrıldı"
06 Aug 2018
Legal charges initiated by Turkey against Turkish Cypriot journalists Şener Levent and Ali Osman should be dropped, urges OSCE Representative