Turkish security forces detained four foreign journalists — three from Italy, one from France — as they tried to cross into Turkey from war-torn Syria, the official Anatolia news agency said Saturday.
The Press Bulletin Authority (BİK) has stopped placing public advertisements for between one and 12 days as punishment to 39 newspapers which published photos related to a hostage crisis on March 31 that resulted in the death of İstanbul public prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz.
Journalist Ismail Saymaz of the dailies Radikal and Hürriyet is being investigated over a story he wrote about a cop killing a citizen during detainment. The investigation started over the compliant of the cop with the charges: “influencing those who do judicial duty” and “violating the secrecy of private life.” İzzet Doğan, responsible editor for the web sites of the two dailies mentioned above, is also investigated alongside Saymaz. The mentioned story is about the police shooting a robbery suspect as he tried to run from them. The police claims the suspect was armed but the video recordings prove otherwise.
Saymaz is facing another similar investigation about a similar story over the complaint of a solider who allegedly killed a Smuggler near the Iran border of Turkey.
Journalists working for the Dicle News Agency (DİHA) and the daily Evrensel were threatened by civilians at Akçakale border gate of Şanlıurfa province, DİHA reported on June 18. Journalists talking to refugees from Syria were accused of being “provocateurs” and threatened with death by beheading by a group of civilians according to the report.
Today’s Zaman Chief Editor Bülent Keneş is sentenced to 21 months in prison over a tweet which “insulted” the president of Turkey according to the court. The sentence is delayed which means the journalist will not be imprisoned immediately his parole will be considered violated if he commits a similar offense.
Four journalists (Evrensel correspondent Hasan Akbaş, daily Cumhuriyet columnist Pınar Öğünç along with Özlem Topçu and Deniz Yücel, of German newspapers Die Zeit and Die Welt) were briefly detained on June 16 in Şanlurfa after the governor was irritated at a press conference by their questions. The press was there to report the refugees entering Turkey from Syria. Apperantly, facts that the journalists found by talking to the refugees were different than what the authorities want to be reported. The governor has said the Kurdish forces in Syria were driving the civilians away from their homes while the refugees were running away from ISIS.
Öğünç has described the event in her column and said The governor did not like the questions of Akbaş and Yücel about the ISIS and their colleagues’ persistence to guard him from detainment resulted in two more detainments. The journalists were released shortly afterwards.
Zaman reporter Emre Şencan was beaten and briefly detained by the police while he was taking photos at Gezi Park near Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
Michelle Demishevich, a reporter for news website T24, was attempting to report on a press conference in Istanbul when plainclothes police beat her.
The daily Hürriyet counted the news bans issued by Turkish courts in the last four years as 150 and listed the top 10 big ones.
The National Intelligence Agency (MİT) has filed a criminal complaint against the internet news website Odatv for publishing an interview with one of their former agents who is currently a prison convict on the run. An investigation is ongoing due to the complaint.
According to the story published in Odatv today; the MİT demanded the interview to be removed from the website and Barış Pehlivan (Odatv Chief Editor), Ömer Ödemiş (the journalist who did the interview) and Önder Sığırcıkoğlu (the former agent) to be punished with prison sentences.
Sığırcıklıoğlu has spoken to Odatv about Turkey governments alleged secret operations in Syria. Pehlivan testified to the prosecutors today in scope of the started investigation and said: “What an intelligence agent says under his own name and with his photograph taken is considered news everywhere in the world.”
* Daily Birgün chief editor Barış İnce is on trial for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The latest hearing was today which did not produce a result as the court delayed the trial until the next hearing on October 22, 2015.
* Daily Birgün columnist Barış Atay was on trial for “insulting” Erdoğan, his son Bilal Erdoğan and Yasin al-Qadi. Atay has wrote a column about Qadi being a terrorism financier he had dealings with the president and his son. He faced jail sentences of from 1 years 2 months up to 2 years 4 months for the president and from 3 months up to 2 years 4 months for the other two. Today, he was sentenced to pay a 7080 TL fine to Erdoğan and got acquitted about the charges for the president’s son and al-Qadi.
* Daily Evrensel columnist Ender İmrek is on trial for insulting Erdoğan. His first hearing was today and the trial was delayed until October 20, 2015.