Turkish journalist Hayri Tunç is arrested in Istanbul on February 3 over his social media posts of which some consist of his own work. Tunç, writer and correspondent of the news blog jiyan.org, was detained at his home in Istanbul by the police on February 2, Tuesday and arrested by an Istanbul court on Wednesday for “terrorism propaganda” for the outlawed groups Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK). The journalist is at Silivri Prison in Istanbul, pending trial. Jiyan Correspondent Hayri Tunç Arrested
According to the questioning document from the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Tunç was asked about his Facebook and Twitter posts. While the document does not include the details or screen shots of the related posts, Tunç explains the posts in his testimony as his own journalistic work including videos of social protests intervened by the police, other news content uploaded by others and shared by him, personal pictures, personal comments and song lyrics. Tunç said in his prosecutor’s testimony: “I am a journalist. I observed the accusations. These are journalistic activities. I did not make propaganda of anyone” and pleaded innocent.
However, the prosecutor transferred Tunç to court with a demand of arrest for “[terrorist] organization membership” and “propaganda” and the 3rd Istanbul Court of Penal Peace arrested the journalist according to the arrest order. The court dismissed the arrest demand for organization membership for lack of evidence but found the journalist’s posts sufficient for “reasonable doubt” to arrest him over “propaganda.”
Tunç’s lawyer Ahmet Baran Çelik said that his client was detained two months ago with “propaganda,” “praising a crime and criminal” and “membership” accusations again with similar social media posts as evidence. Çelik said Tunç was released on parole under the condition of presenting signature three times a week at a police station. In the meantime, this current investigation has started. Columnist Hayri Tunç released as Jiyan.org news portal blocked
Turkish authorities also detained and arrested journalist Nuri Akman, Van Province office chief for the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), at Malatya Province on February 2 for “[terrorist] organization membership” according to press reports. DİHA Reporter Arrested
Also, on February 12, DİHA correspondent Nazım Daştan, taken into custody in Antep, has been arrested on charges of “propagandizing for the terrorist organization” in his Facebook postings. DİHA Correspondent Nazım Daştan Arrested