25 Oct 2017 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 18 May 2017 Turkey

Judicial Harassment Against Opposition Journalists in Turkey

3 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
New media reports stress the critical situation of the young (27 year old) female Turkish journalist and law student Ayşenur Parıldak, arrested over 9 months ago, and released by court order on 2 May 2017 and immediately re-arrested on the same day on new charges related to the same facts (being a correspondent for the Zaman newspaper). Similarly in mid-April 2017, 12 journalists (Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan Acar, Abdullah Kılıç, Oğuz Usluer, Atilla Taş, Hüseyin Aydın, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan, Seyit Kılıç and Yetkin Yıldız) who were arrested on 30 August 2016 for being members of an illegal terrorist organisation were released by a court in Istanbul and immediately re-arrested on charges of “trying to topple the constitutional order and the Turkish government” based on the same facts. In April 2017, in the city of Nusaybin, the female journalist Meltem Oktay, who is working for DIHA news agency was detained for reporting under the state of emergency, was released by a court decision in Mardin and re-arrested immediately on charges of “doing propaganda” by another court in Edirne, Also in the same month in the city of Antalya, 5 detained journalists (out of 8) were released by a court and then re-arrested immediately by another court decision on other charges based on the same facts.
In some of these cases, even those judges ordering the release of journalists were prosecuted and suspended for taking these decisions, which raises questions about access to a fair trial for detained journalists.
Updates
25 Oct 2017
Atilla Taş was released from pretrial detention by an İstanbul court on 24 October 2017. According to the decision of the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court, Taş was released after the court determined that the suspect had no bank account with Bank Asya and never used the ByLock mobile phone application, both considered by Turkish authorities to be evidence of links to the Gülen movement.
Follow-ups
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (3):

Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Meltem Oktay, Oğuz Usluer.
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