Short updates from Turkey (Oct 20-28)

  • A leaked video from February, featuring Presidental Advisor Mustafa Varank discussing pro-Hizmet channels to be removed from the TURKSAT sattelite with pro-government journalists at a TV studio has surfaced.

Video showing censorship plan by Erdoğan’s chief advisor sparks outrage

Jurists call for legal action against Erdoğan’s adviser for media censorship plot

  • After confiscating the undistributed issue of the Nokta magazine with the Erdoğan selfie cover, blocking access to noktadergisi.com, blocking access to a story about leaked meeting notes from the AKP officials, the government practiced “preliminary censorship” on Nokta by presenting a court order that what kind of news they will not be able to report. The mentioned meeting notes were part of a series but Nokta reported on October 21 that they received a court order that says they cannot continue to publish the alleged notes. Nokta also stated that the police confiscated their magazine’s latest issue from some central newsstands in Istanbul without a court order.

Nokta Dergisi’ne yönelik baskılar basın tarihinin görmediği yeni bir boyuta yükseldi

  • Hürriyet reported on October 24: 12 news websites were blocked from access in 4 days. As listed below:

562b7c64c03c0e3ab08e3ab6

Dört günde 12 haber sitesine erişim engeli

  • Diken reported: A trial started against police officer S.G. for breaking the nose of Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Feyyaz İmrak as he was covering a protest event. The cop is on trial without arrest and faces a year of imprisonment if found guilty and pleads not guilty.

DİHA muhabirinin burnunu kıran polisin bir yıl hapsi isteniyor

  • Regarding the latest developments in the Hrant Dink murder case:

Dink murder indictment returned to prosecutor for including Dinç as suspect

Intelligence unit is temporizing the Dink investigation with fabricated reports

25 years sought for police chief in Dink murder indictment

Gülenist police chiefs face life sentence over Dink murder

Former police intel chiefs face up to 25 years in jail over Hrant Dink murder

  • Cem Küçük, pro government journalist who is famous for threatening colleagues and recently questioned by the police regarding the attack on Ahmet Hakan did it again. Küçük threatened CNNTürk news presenter Nevşin Mengü with ending her journalism career. Küçük has testified that his previous threats to Hakan were “irony,” not threats. During a daytime live TV debate, Küçük claimed Hakan has published his adress and other private information in his column (not true) and Mengü showed that newspaper clip on CNNTürk. “Mengü will see… I will end her life in media” Küçük said. Mengü said she welcomes the challenge.

Cem Küçük Bu Sefer de Nevşin Mengü’yü Tehdit Etti

Turkey government silences critical media before election

Turkish court ordering a government takeover of a holding that houses critical media outlets Mondat resulted in protests for silencing the opposition days before the general elections according to local reports.

Koza-İpek Holding was raided by the police early September with terrorism allegations. The holding owns critical media organs such as Bugün TV, the daily Bugün, Kanaltürk TV and the daily Millet. Koza-İpek and its media organs are accused of allegiance with the alleged terrorist organization FETÖ/PDY (Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure) as it is named in related court documents. The leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) used to had a close relationship with the religious Hizmet Movement led by cleric Fethullah Gülen but the two have been uneasy with each other in recent years and became fierce enemies since the alleged corruption scandal in December 2013; popularly known as the “December 17/25 process.”

The 5th Ankara Penal Court of Peace ordered the seizure of the management of the Holding on Monday; reports say. Protests by employees and supporters have resulted in the police using tear gas during the takeover. The opposition parties of Turkey, foreign officials, the Journalists Union and several press NGOs have protested the action; in consensus of the observation that this is a violation of press freedom.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s former adviser and speechwriter; AKP Parliamentary Deputy Aydın Ünal said on live television that other critical media organs’ “turns will come” after the November 1 elections. The deputy said there is “pressure over Turkey” with the claim of “there is pressure against the press” currently, but he promised the voters that they will go after the dailies Sözcü, Cumhuriyet and other critical media after November 1.