Latest on terrorism investigations against journos, censorship and ‘insulting Erdoğan’

Short updates from February so far

Updates (Dec 24-Jan 05)

  • Hürriyet Daily News Reported: “A lawsuit has been opened against Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin with a demand that the journalist serve five years in prison for “insulting president” due to a report in the daily.” Hürriyet editor-in-chief faces five years in prison for ‘insulting president’
  • Today’s Zaman reported that the same court also accepted a similar case against former daily Zaman chief editor Ekrem Dumanlı: “A court in İstanbul accepted an indictment against former Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı and Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin on Dec. 15 for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in tweets, according to a report by the Zaman daily on Friday. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for March 25, 2016.” Journalists Dumanlı and Ergin to be tried for ‘insulting Erdoğan’
  • Bianet reported: “DİHA website that is blocked as of July 25 has been censored 28th time.” 28th Access Block against DİHA Political news website siyasihaber.org also announced with this tweet that their website is blocked by TİB and they have a new address. It is their first time. According to this tweet featuring the court document from İnternet freedom activist Yaman Akdeniz, TİB blocked 8 other sites alongside siyasihaber.org and 10 twitter accounts. Social media accounts of Kurdish journalists and news sources have been systematically banned by TİB throughout the year.
  • Cihan News Agency reported: “An İstanbul court rejected a request by the lawyers representing journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who are under arrest, for their release on Friday.” Request to release journalists Dündar and Gül rejected again
  • Bianet reported: “Imprisoned journalist, Mehmet Baransu, has been fined on the grounds of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife, Emine Erdoğan; the court hasn’t postponed the penalty over ‘inclination to crime’.” Baransu Fined for Insulting Emine Erdoğan
  • Today’s Zaman reported: “Bülent Ceyhan, the Millet daily’s former desk editor who was fired in early November by the trustees appointed to the İpek Media Group, appeared in court on Thursday on charges of insulting Interior Minister Efkan Ala” for
    writing “in a report on April 29 that Ala had been using a state-owned private jet for his personal use despite not holding public office at the time.” Journalist Bülent Ceyhan faces trial for insulting interior minister
  • Today’s Zaman reported: “The Turkish journalists Union (TGS) and the Pak Medya-İş union organized a demonstration in front of Silivri Prison on Thursday during which they called for freedom for their imprisoned colleagues.” Journalists welcome new year in front of Silivri Prison in support of jailed colleagues
  • Harassing of Kurdish journalists continued as: “DİHA reporter, Merdan Berk, following up protests in Diyarbakır has been wounded in both of his legs.” DİHA Reporter Merdan Berk Injured in Both Legs & “[JİNHA] reporter Duygu Erol went to the street of Gazi where the curfew was lifted last week but still the siege of police continues,in order to cover the news. Police stoped and threatened her by using the sentences; ‘We’ll send you to the cemetery. if it was up to me, I would execute you.'” Police threaten our reporter! & Kurdsat News cameraman Baran Ok was detained on duty in Diyarbakır on December 31 and not released until January 4. In this video, his colleague is captured trying to convince the police to release Ok, saying “O benim Kameramanım” (He is my cameraman” which ended up as a hashtag on twitter for the demand of the journalist’s release.
  • Today’s Zaman reported: “An İstanbul prosecutor has launched an investigation into the Sözcü daily for allegedly insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a puzzle published on the front page of its Jan. 1 edition.” Turkish daily faces investigation for ’insulting’ Erdoğan in puzzle

updates from Turkey

Short updates November 6-12

Short updates from Turkey

The prosecution has objected to the release of the six out of seven suspects regarding the investigation on the attack on journalist Ahmet Hakan. The higher court rejected the appeal on Wednesday.

Ahmet Hakan Saldırısında 6 Kişinin Tutuklanması Talebine Ret

Pro-government Sabah and its sister publication the Daily Sabah in English accused the rival media group Doğan with being hypocritical about press freedom due to the insult and defamation complaints Aydın Doğan has filed against pro-government journalists. “Journalists critical of Aydın Doğan and media groups including Daily Sabah’s parent company Turkuvaz Medya face a barrage of lawsuits by the media magnate and his news outlets seeking the imprisonment of journalists in a move criticized for hypocrisy as Doğan complains about the lack of press freedoms” Daily Sabah argued.

Doğan Media Group under fire for efforts to imprison journalists

“The nine suspects who were sent to court over the allegations that they deliberately neglected intelligence that led to the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a renowned Armenian-Turkish journalist, have been released on Thursday” daily Sabah reported.

Court releases nine detainees in Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink murder case

“Daily newspaper Sözcü’s Necati Doğru has become the latest journalist in Turkey to be found guilty of “insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail” Hürriyet daily News reported. The sentence is transformed into a monetary fine.

Another journalist sentenced to 11 months in jail for ‘insulting’ Erdoğan

‘Erdoğan’a hakaret’te bugün (2): Sözcü yazarı Necati Doğru’ya 11 ay hapis cezası

Editor fined for ‘insulting’ Erdoğan, TV group and daily fined for reporting

Pro-Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) leftist daily Birgün chief editor Barış İnce is fined 7500 TL for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about reports on corruption allegations of the process known as December 17-25.” The Istanbul Second Court of First Instance sentenced the journalist today by the Penal Code amendment 125 for insulting an individual.

Barış İnce’ye Erdoğan’dan 7500 lira ceza daha!

Meanwhile, pro-Hizmet Samanyolu News Group is sentenced to a total of 118.000 TL over their various reporting on Mehmet Görmez’s (President of Religious Affairs, the state’s official religion authority) one million TL worth car. The state has argued the car assigned to Görmez was one third of the claimed price but then it was documented otherwise and the subject was discussed in detail by politicians. The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) ignored the proof on the car’s actual price and fined the news group over a number of news stories.

RTÜK’ten Samanyolu’na ‘milyonluk Mercedes’ cezası!

Pro-Hizmet daily Zaman will pay 10.000 TL to Erdoğan for a story featuring the tweets of “Fuat Avni” the social media deep throat which is providing insider information from the government. According to the related tweets, the government would commit bloody crimes and blame them on Hizmet. Erdoğan’s lawyers have asked 100.000 TL  as compensation but the Ankara 26th Court of First Instance said 10.000 TL is sufficient.

fuatavni’nin tweet’lerini haberleştiren Zaman, Erdoğan’a 10 bin lira tazminat ödeyecek

Dogan Media under fire by government remarks, criminal compliant, fine

Dogan media and its flagship publication the daily Hürriyet has been targeted by the government by threats, criminal complaints and fines.

The AKP media has been accusing Doğan Media and its honorary chairman Aydın Doğan with a number of things for the last months. Pro-AKP columnist Cem Küçük has been among the ringleaders of this campaign:

Doğan media group lashes out at pro-gov’t daily for slander

Former Egypt leader Morsi having sentenced to death last week was reported on Hürriyet’s website with the headline: “execution for the president who was selected with 52%” and since Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also elected with the same percentage he criticized the daily harshly; arguing that the Dogan group wants him executed. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also joined Erdoğan in the criticism. Hürrriyet responded with the following statement:

Hürriyet’s address to the Turkish president

Newspaper targeted by Erdoğan over Morsi headline retorts: Will you banish us?

Also recently, PM Davutoğlu and the AKP media has accused Hürriyet with a defemation campaign against a political party. Hürriyet Chief Editor Sedat Ergin has responded as such:

Is Hürriyet responsible for Akşener case?

Moreover, a AKP lawyer filed a criminal complaint; demanding the arrests of Hürriyet editors:

Hürriyet daily, website editors face arrest over Morsi headline

Lastly; Hürriyet was sentenced to pay Eroğan 20.000 TL on May 21 due to a column they published last year.

Top Turkish newspaper fined for insulting Erdogan

TVs fined for broadcasting video of cop shooting minor

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.”