Two journalists released in Özgür Gündem trial; 45 new detentions made as part of a probe into the Journalists and Writers Foundation
Inan Kızılkaya, the responsible managing editor for the shuttered pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily, and the holder of the newspaper’s publication rights, Kemal Sancılı, were released on October 31 in a trial concerning the newspaper’s publications.
Kızılkaya had been imprisoned over alleged terror links for 441 days.
The Istanbul 23rd High Criminal Court heard the case, where a total of nine journalists and writers are on trial. Linguist Necmiye Alpay, who was on the newspaper’s Advisory Board, and lawyer Eren Keskin, a former editor and columnist of Özgür Gündem, whom are among the suspects also attended the trial.
The suspects are accused of several terror-related crimes.
Following the release of Kızılkaya and Inan, no defendant in the case currently remains in prison. Their release also brings down the total number of journalists in prison to 153.
Lawyers said Kızılkaya was only responsible for the financial affairs of the newspaper, and couldn’t possibly be tried over its content. Kızılkaya, who testified, said it wasn’t his imprisonment but the closure of the newspaper that he found worse.
The court ruled for the release of the two suspects, in spite of a prosecutor’s opinion to keep them both in prison. The court also rejected a request from lawyers to remove parole measures in place for lawyer Keskin.
The next hearing in the trial will be heard on March 6. Celebrated writer Aslı Erdoğan, the newspaper’s current editor-in-chief Zana Kaya, politician Filiz Koçali and publisher Ragıp Zaraokolu are also suspects in the trial.
45 detained in operation into writers’ group
Forty five individuals, including journalists Nuh Gönültaş, Mehmet Gündem, Şule Büyükçizmeci and Behram Kılıç, were taken into custody by police on November 1, as part of an operation into the Journalists’ and Writers’ Foundation (GYV), which was shut down under a post-coup decree. The Financial Crimes Unit of the Istanbul Police Department is conducting the investigation.
A total of 111 detention warrants were issued across 17 provinces, authorities said. Warrants for editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper and GYV President Mustafa Yeşil were also issued.
GYV was an organization affiliated with the Fethullah Gülen network, which Turkish authorities say was behind the 15 July coup attempt in Turkey.
Cumhuriyet executives and journalists remain in jail
The 27th High Criminal Court continued hearing the trial where nearly a dozen Cumhuriyet executives and employees are on trial and where reporter Ahmet Şık, Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and the newspaper’s Executive President Akın Atalay remain imprisoned on October 31.
In its interim-ruling, the court decided that Şık, Sabuncu and Atalay should remain in prison. The newspaper’s accountant, Emre İper, is also imprisoned in the case.
The session was adjourned until December 25 – 26.
The defendants are accused of “aiding an armed organization,” and/or “abuse of power.”
Forensic IT specialist Tuncay Beşikçi testified in the session, saying although Iper’s phone had connected to a ByLock server, Iper had never downloaded the mobile chat application, which Turkish authorities say is indicative of participation in the coup attempt.
Ipekçi said Iper’s phone was diverted to ByLock servers unbeknownst to him, through third-party applications. The IT specialist said many people arrested across Turkey on ByLock related charges might be in the same situation as İper, but said it was easy to differentiate between people who downloaded the app or whose phones were hijacked by third-party software.
In a confusing twist in the case, the judge read out WhatsApp conversations between civil society leader Osman Kavala, Cumhuriyet columnist Aydın Engin and the former Editor-in-Chief of the daily, Can Dündar. Defense lawyers said the same documents had been linked to pro-government and government-controlled press, saying it was a violation of fair trial rights.
Third session heard in trial of Nedim Türfent
On November 1, Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Nedim Türfent appeared before the 2nd High Criminal Court of Hakkari for the third time.
Türfent has been kept imprisoned since May 13, 2016 and he has complained of physical abuse. About 12 witneses, who had testified against him in the initial indictment, had also claimed that their initial testimony had been extracted under torture.
In the hearing, secret witness testimony claiming that Türfent acted under orders from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey. The same witness said Türfent was a member of the organization, and that he was responsible for influencing the media.
In response, the journalist said the secret witness testimony was false, recalling that suspects who testified earlier had confessed to having given false testimony under torture.
Four other witnesses who testified via the courtroom conferencing system, just like the previous witnesses, said they didn’t know who Türfent was and that they had been forced to identify him and testify against him under torture at the Police Department.
Türfent said police officers who had been investigated by the Interior Ministry after his video-story documenting maltreatment of Yüksekova (Hakkari) locals by police had put together the case against him to seek revenge.
The prosecutor asked to keep Türfent in jail saying he’s a “flight risk” and that more witnesses had to testify. Türfent, who has been imprisoned for 539 days, said he had refused to flee in spite of receiving death threats, in response to the prosecutor’s opinion.
The court ruled to keep Türfent in place. His next hearing will be on November 17.
Kanal A television station shut down
The Ankara-based Kanal A television, which is widely believed to have been supported by the city’s former Mayor Melih Gökçek, said it won’t be continuing its broadcasts in a statement on October 31.
Ahmet Kara, the owner of the station, told Hürriyet that he had decided to shut down for economic reasons.
Gökçek, like many other mayors whose performance in the 16 April referendum upset President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, recently resigned, in response to an order from Erdoğan to step down as mayor.
Imprisoned journalist denied treatment
The daughter of Tuncer Çetinkaya, a reporter for the shuttered Zaman newspaper, claimed her father was being denied potentially life saving renal treatment in the Antalya Prison where he has been kept since July 23, 2016.
She said her father has lost 20 kilos in prison, and that 54 percent of his kidney function has been lost due to lack of treatment.
IT journalists briefly detained in probe
Serdar Kuzuloğlu, an IT journalist, was briefly detained on November 1 as part of an investigaiton into the Fethullahist Terrorist Network/Paralel State Structrue (FETÖ/PDY) organization, the name used by Turkish officials to refer to an Islamist network allegedly behind last year’s coup attempt. He was released in the evening of November 1 and reportedly had to answer questions about a “FETÖ’s Silicon Valley,” although no information was immediately available as to what that implies.
Journalist Perihan Mağden on trial on insult charges
Journalist Perihan Mağden appared before the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance on charges of “insulting the president” for likening a contestant on the TV show Survivor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Journalist İnan Ketenciler, an editor for a website who reprinted Mağden’s words, is also being tried as a defendant.
The next hearing will be on February 15. The court granted intervention to lawyers for President Erdoğan.
Sol writer given monetary fine
Orhan Gökdemir, a columnist for the Sol news portal, was fined TL 2,900 in an insult trial initiated by theoogician Nureddin Yıldız.
Gökdemir had referred to Yıldız as “pedophile Nureddin Yıldız, who finds it acceptable for five-six year old girls to be married off to older men” ” in an article published on 21 May 2016.
1 Abdulkadir Turay, DİHA reporter
2 Abdullah Kılıç, Habertürk
3 Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter
4 Abdulvahap İş (Freelance journalist)
5 Ahmet Altan
6 Ahmet Feyzullah Özyurt
7 Ahmet Memiş, Gazeteci, Haberdar news website
8 Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Zaman journalist
9 Ahmet Şık, Cumhuriyet reporter
10 Ahmet Turan Alkan, Zaman
11 Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum)
12 Akın Atalay, Pres. of Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board
13 Alaattin Güner, Cihan media director
14 Ali Ahmet Böken, TRT News coordinator
15 Ali Aşikar – Azadiya Welat
16 Ali Babür Boysal, Zaman page designer
17 Ali Bulaç, Eski Zaman columnist
18 Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist
19 Ali Yüce, TRT Radio broadcasts chief
20 Arafat Dayan, Demokratik Ulus
21 Aslı Ceren Aslan, Özgür Gelecek
22 Ayhan Demir, Çaldıran News Agency
23 Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak
24 Ayşenur Parıldak, Zaman, Haberdar
25 Aytekin Gezici, journalist/writer
26 Aziz İstegün, Diyarbakır Zaman representative
27 Bayram Kaya, Zaman reporter
28 Beytullah Özdemir, Zaman Düzce bureau chief
29 Binali Erdoğan, former TRT cameraman
30 Burak Ekici, Birgün
31 Burçin Dokgöz, former Zaman and Çorum reporter
32 Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Journalists and Writers’ Foundation
33 Ceren Taşkın, Hatay’ın Sesi
34 Cuma Kaya, Zaman
35 Cuma Ulus, Millet newspaper’s publications coordinator
36 Cüneyt Seza Özkan, Samanyolu TV
37 Çağdaş Erdoğan, Photojournalist
38 Deniz Yücel, Die Welt
39 Emin Demir, Freelancer
40 Emre Soncan, Zaman defense reporter
41 Ercan Gün, Fox TV
42 Erdal Süsem, Eylül magazine editor
43 Erdal Şen, former Meydan managing editor
44 Erdoğan Alayamut, Dihaber reporter
45 Erol Yüksel (TRT News Department vice president))
46 Erol Zavar, Odak magazine, owner and newsroom director
47 Fahrettin Kılıç, Özgür Toplum
48 Faruk Akkan, Cihan news agency
49 Ferhat Çiftçi, Azadiya Welat Gaziantep bureau chief
50 Fevzi Yazıcı
51 Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türksolu columnist
52 Gökmen Ulu, Sözcü
53 Gurbet Çakar, Hevi women’s magazine
54 Gültekin Avcı
55 Habip Güler, Zaman reporter
56 Hakan Aksel, TRT producer-director
57 Hakan Ergün, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor
58 Hakan Taşdelen
59 Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum)
60 Hamit Dilbahar, Azadiya Welat columnist
61 Hamza Günerigök, TRT
62 Hanım Büşra Erdal, Zaman reporter and columnist
63 Hasan Duman, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributor
64 Hatice Duman, Atılım newspaper’s owner and managing editor
65 Havva Cuştan, ETHA reporter
66 Hayati Yıldız, Azadiya Welat
67 Hidayet Karaca, Samanyolu Media Group President
68 Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter
69 Hüseyin Turan, Zaman columnist
70 İbrahim Balta, Zaman business editor
71 İbrahim Kareyeğen, responsible editor for Zaman
72 İdris Okur, Cihan New Agency Çorum reporter
73 İdris Sayılgan, DİHA
74 İsmail Avcı, Zaman
75 İsmail Efe, local press advisor in İzmir
76 İsmail Ersan, Anatolia news agency
77 İsminaz Temel, ETHA editor
78 Kamuran Sunbat, DİHA Çukurova reporter (formerly)
79 Kemal Özer, Evrensel
80 Kenan Karavil, Radyo Dünya editor-in-chief
81 Mahir Kanaat, BirGün, head of accountingn
82 Mehmet Ali Ay
83 Mehmet Altan
84 Mehmet Baransu, Taraf columnist/reporter
85 Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
86 Mehmet Güleş, DİHA
87 Mehmet Kuru, Zaman Eskişehir reporter
88 Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman columnist
89 Meltem Oktay, DİHA reporter
90 Meşale Tolu, ETHA translater
91 Mikail Barut, Özgür Halk former editor
92 Miktat Algül, Mezitli FM General Publications Coordinator
93 Mizgin Çay – Radyo Karacadağ
94 Muhammet Taşçılar, Şanlıurfa.com editor-in-chief
95 Muhsin Pilgir, Zaman and Cihan news agency
96 Murat Avcıoğlu, Zaman
97 Murat Çapan,
98 Murat Dağdeviren (Demokrat Gebze owner)
99 Murat Sabuncu, Editor-in- Chief
100 Mustafa Erkan Acar, Bugün news editor,
101 Mustafa Gök, Ankara bureau chief for Ekmek ve Adalet magazine
102 Mustafa Ünal, Zaman
103 Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet, newsroom coordinator
104 Mutlu Özay, Cihan reporter
105 Mümtazer Türköne, Zaman columnist
106 Nadir Yücel, Çorum Yıldız (local) Editor-in-Chief
107 Nedim Türfent,DİHA
108 Nizamettin İzgi (Batman Newspaper’s owner)
109 Nur Ener, Yeni Asya
110 Nuri Durna, TRT
111 Nuri Yeşil, Azadiya Welat Dersim bureau chief
112 Nurullah Kaya, G.antep Zaman representative
113 Oğuz Usluer, Habertürk former broadcasts coordinator
114 Osman Yakut, Zaman Antalya
115 Ömer Faruk Aydemir, İHA editor
116 Ömer Oruç, Cihan newspaper
117 Özcan Keser (TRT reporter)
118 Özkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
119 Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk
120 Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter
121 Resul Cengiz, Denizli reporter with Zaman
122 Sadık Demir – Radyo Karacadağ
123 Sait Gürka Tuzlu, Cihan reporter
124 Salih Erbekler – Radyo Karacadağ
125 Sami Tunca, Mücadele Birliği magazine Managing Editor
126 Selman Keleş, DİHA
127 Semiha Mete, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reporter and distributor
128 Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional bureau chief for the Med region
129 Serkan Aydemir, Bitlis Aktüel reporter
130 Serkan Erdoğan, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi
131 Seyid Kılıç, TRT News
132 Seyithan Akyüz, Azadiya Welat Adana bureau chief
133 Şahabettin Demir, DİHA reporter
134 Şahin Alpay, Zaman columnist
135 Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV
136 Şerife Oruç, DİHA reporter
137 Tahsin Kürklü, Zaman – head of Logistics Department
138 Togay Okay, Özgür Gelecek
139 Tunca Öğreten, former Diken editor
140 Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya
141 Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist
142 Ünal Tanık, Rota Haber editor-in-chief
143 Vahit Yazgan, İzmir Zaman bureau chief
144 Yakup Çetin, Zaman reporter
145 Yakup Şimşek, Zaman, marketing director
146 Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum)
147 Yasir Kaya, Fenerbahçe TV, formerly
148 Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website
149 Yetkin Yıldız, Aktif Haber website editor
150 Yılmaz Kahraman, Özgür Halk editor
151 Zafer Özsoy
152 Zehra Doğan, Jinha
153 Ziya Ataman, DİHA reporter
Source: Platform 24