Journalist Mehmet Baransu is detained once more and his house is searched by the police on March 1. The numerous previous detainments of the journalist were about not answering court calls to testify but this may be different. According to first reports, Baransu is being investigated regarding the alleged “Sledgehammer” coup plan which he broke first as a story and then delivered documents to Turkish prosecutors. This has led to a major controversial trial which resulted in arrests of many high ranking military officials who were released last year.
A court case has been opened against the author of a biography of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the court is threatening to collect all copies of the book, according to the author’s Twitter feed; the daily Bugün reported.
The complaint against the book by journalist Mustafa Hoş was not filed by Erdoğan but by Hasan Yeşildağ, who is beleived to be someone close to Erdoğan and has some accusations against him in the book.
The book is a best seller and Hoş believes that is the reason for the complaint. Hoş also said anything against Yeşildağ in the book is documented by court documents from the past.
A Turkish criminal court on Feb. 24 issued another arrest warrant for the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen as a part of the probe into the “parallel state,” in which 28 suspects have been arrested so far. The court also issued an arrest warrant for Emre Uslu, a columnist and a former police official, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
Emre Uslu has been abroad for some time, reported to be at the USA.
Government media watchdog RTÜK fined three TV channels for being “provocative” by broadcasting a video of a cop shooting a minor citizen.
CNNTürk, FOX TV and Halk TV got fined for video coverage of police shooting 12 years old Nihat Kazanoğlu at Cizre on January 14 according to a daily Evrensel report on February 25.
According to the RTÜK, the channels repeated the playback of the video too many times and it was “provocative”, it has “no value for the public good” and “saddening for the child’s family.”
Gürsel Tekin, deputy leader of the Republican People’s Party said they will “take over” the pro-AKP press if they win the upcoming general elections on June 7. In a speech he gave in İzmir on February 20, Gürsel criticized the pro-AKP press on their coverage of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and said the following according to the daily Hürriyet:
“Our first job on June 8-9 will be taking over all those dirty newspapers. Will I only take them over? We will put all the businessmen who got involved in this to account.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to Tekin’s comments in a speech he gave on February 24 and said while the opposition blames him for being a dictator, “tyranny is in their genes” according to media news website Medyatava.