Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan, chief editor and news editor of the weekly news magazine Nokta, were detained by the police in Istanbul on November 2 and arrested by court the day after for “provoking the people to armed resistance against the government” (Turkish Penal Code TCK 313/1). The offense is punishable by 15 to 20 years jail time if the case makes it to trial with this charge standing and the journalists found guilty.
The court also practiced the Article 100 of the Law of Criminal Procedure for the cause of arrest as it is common with such cases. It is a lengthy article listing the justifications of arrest before trial and allowing arrest for charges such as those against the “national security” and “constitutional order.”
The cover for the November 2 issue of Nokta was first shared on the social media accounts of the magazine on the election night November 1; after it became clear that the Justice and Development Party scored a surprise win and received almost half the vote against expectations. The cover features a daily calendar sheet for November 2, transparent over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s face, and the red line below reads “The beginning of the Turkey civil war.”
According to the documents shared by Nokta, Istanbul Prosecutor Umut Tepe sent an order to the police to detain Çapan and Güven to be questioned about the cover according to Turkish Penal Code 214/1-2 for provoking the people to commit crimes. According to the documents shared by Nokta, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Istanbul also applied to the 5th Istanbul Court of Penal Peace and got a confiscation order for the printed copies of the last issue on November 2. Nokta’s website is also blocked from access in Turkey according a November 3 tweet from their account. Reports say the 5th Ankara Court of Penal Peace ordered the block for noktadergisi.net.
The journalists were detained at their offices on Monday and transferred to the 8th Istanbul Court of Penal Peace on Tuesday with a demand of arrest from Tepe. According to court documents shared by Nokta, Güven and Çapan both denied wrongdoing. They said the cover is about the expected chaos atmosphere in post-election Turkey according to the violent statements from both the government and the opposition; adding that it is not possible to provoke the people to start a civil war with a magazine cover. However the court said both suspects are responsible according to the 11th Article of the Press Law and there is strong suspicion of guilt according to the presented content; arresting the journalists as the details are explained above.
Kanaltürk and Bugün TV broadcasts are stopped today around 4.30 PM local time in Istanbul by the police. The Koza-İpek staff resisted to not to allow the police in the building which resulted in battering and use of tear gas and pressurized water by the authorities as can be seen in this video. Bugün TV continued its broadcast from the control room until the police entered there also and stopped them. Several Koza-İpek staff are battered and/or detained for resisting the police.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.