Today’s Zaman journos receive suspended sentences

Today’s Zaman reported that their Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş, managing editor Celil Sağır and correspondent Sevgi Akarçeşme received suspended prison sentences for insulting the prime minister: “Three journalists from Today’s Zaman have been each given suspended prison sentences of more than a year for insulting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in tweets they wrote, in a move that has only contributed to the sense of deteriorating media freedoms in Turkey.”

Today’s Zaman journalists get suspended prison sentences for ‘insulting’ Davutoğlu

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updates from Turkey (Nov 16 – Dec 08)

  • Insulting Erdoğan: “Daily Hürriyet columnist and former editor-in-chief Ertuğrul Özkök faces up to five years and four months in prison for “insulting” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an opinion piece published on Sept. 3.” Hürriyet Daily News reported. Daily Birgün reporter Onur Erem tweeted: “I’m under prosecution b/c of the interview I made with Tariq Ali, accusted of ‘insulting president Erdogan’.” Cihan News Agency reported: “BirGün daily Managing Editor Berkant Gültekin faces up to 32 years in prison in a total of eight cases filed against him on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in news reports that appeared in the daily.” Daily Evrensel Chief Editor Fatih Polat tweeted documents about a prosecutor dropping an insult complaint by the president. Polat stated that the prosecution decided writing about Erdoğan escalating violence in the country in benefit of his political goals is within the limits of freedom of expression. The indictment is ready for the investigation about journalist Bülent Keneş for “insulting” Erdoğan. Today’s Zaman reported: “Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş is facing the prospect of up to eight years and two months in prison on charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a series of tweets and statements that the journalist says was him simply expressing a critical opinion.”
  • Mistreatment in jail: Arrested journalist Mehmet Baransu wrote about the bad treatment he is exposed to in jail; Cihan News Agency reported.
  • Censored: Political cartoonist Carlos Latuff’s website is among the thousands of banned sites in Turkey. The cartoonist announced the situation with this post.
  • Detained: ETHA News Agency Editor İsminaz Ergün was detained on November 27 and about an opinion piece (titled “The Kurdish People wants an Honorable Peace”) she wrote and released after questioning.
  • Fired: Doğan Media Group is slowly “cleaning house;” firing journalist who are openly anti-AKP.  Zeynep Gürcanlı and Şükrü Küçükşahin from the Ankara office of the daily Hürriyet were fired on December 2; the daily Cumhuriyet reported. Hürriyet’s Digital Media Coordinator Bülent Mumay was fired on November 26. The Executive Director and Chief Editor of the Kanal D (Doğan’s and Turkey’s most popular TV channel) were also changed and CNNTürk is now directed by Erdoğan Aktaş; former news director of the pro-AKP news channel ATV; local reports from December 8 stated. Also, Today’s Zaman reported:”Eighty more journalists working for the Bugün and Kanaltürk TV stations were fired after the channels were dropped by the state-owned Turkish Satellite Communications Company (Türksat) from its infrastructure in a government-orchestrated crackdown on critical media.”
  • Another investigation against Nokta: Nokta reported that another investigation is launched against Nokta regarding its “Erdoğan selfie” cover. Nokta’s already arrested editors (due to Nokta’s “civil war” cover) Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan will be investigated about the “selfie” cover for “insulting the president” and “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” alongside two new names: Ertuğrul Erbaş (news coordinator) and  Emrah Direk (digital publishing director). Originally, Çapan was the only suspect in the investigation with the accusation of “insulting” Erdoğan.

Short updates November 6-12

Columnist sentenced for insulting minister, dead columnist received disclaimer, chief editor investigated for reporting CHP

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s lawyer sent a disclaimer to the daily Cumhuriyet regarding a May column of Cüneyt Arcayürek who died in July 23.

Cumhuriyet yazarı Cüneyt Arcayürek, ölümünden üç ay sonra ‘tekzip edildi’ 

“An investigation has been launched into the editor-in-chief of the Meydan daily, Levent Kenez, who has been accused of insulting Erdoğan in a news story that quoted remarks by Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Muharrem İnce” Today’s Zaman reported.

Meydan editor-in-chief investigated for quoting remarks of opposition deputy

“Sözcü daily columnist and former news anchor Uğur Dündar was sentenced 11 months and 20 days in prison for insulting former minister Binali Yıldırım in his column” daily Bugün reported. The sentence is delayed by the court. In te same report, Bugün also wrote: “Another indictment, seeking up to four years and eight months of prison time, was prepared for web portal Odatv Editor-in-Chief Barış Pehlivan over allegedly insulting Erdoğan’s children Sümeyye and Bilal.”

Gov’t cracks down on four critical Turkish journalists for defamation

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

Journalist almost arrested, banned from foreign travel

“An İstanbul court on Thursday rejected a prosecutor’s request to imprison Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The court instead placed him under judicial supervision and banned him from leaving the country” Today’s zaman reported.

Journalist Keneş barred from travel abroad in Erdoğan ‘insult’ case

Short updates from Turkey

Pro-Kurdish News Agency JINHA reported that their correspondent Filiz Zeyrek was briefly “kidnapped” by the police in Seyhan District of Adana. The police did not detain the journalist but questioned her in a moving car for half an hour and took her pictures according to the report. The jpurnalist was let go after the intimidation attempt.

Adana’da JİNHA muhabiri polis tarafından kaçırıldı

Journalist Sedef Kabaş was acquitted of “menace” and “targeting public officials involved in counter-terrorism” charges due to her tweet about a Turkey prosecutor at the first hearing today.

Turkish journalist acquitted in case into tweet critical of corruption prosecutor

Suspects in the case into the beating of Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan have confessed that a former police officer offered them 100,000 Turkish Liras to attack the journalist.

Suspects say offered 100,000 liras for attacking Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan

Daily Zaman Chief Editor Ekrem Dumanlı resigned.

Daily Zaman editor-in-chief resigns over ‘pressure on press, personality’

Aydın Doğan, the founder and honorary chairman of Doğan Holding, has said that Turkey’s largest media group “does not have to be pro-government,” amid rising pressure and violence targeting the company and its workers.

I’m an independent publisher, I don’t have to be pro-gov’t: Aydın Doğan

Eight trials to bring ten journalists to court on October

The Journalist’s Union of Turkey reported that at least 10 journalists will be at court on October due to 8 trials.

October 1 – Vural Nasuhbeyoğlu ve Arif Koşar (Evrensel) Insulting the President

October 6 – Sedef Kabaş Threats, Making targets of people who combat terrorism

October 8 – Özgür Mumcu (Cumhuriyet) Insulting the President

October 12 – Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Çetinkaya (Cumhuriyet) Blasphemy (Charlie Hebdo)

October 13 – Ahmet Şık (Cumhuriyet) Insulting former Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım (in his last book about Hizmet-AKP relations when they were allies)

October 20 – Barış Pehlivan (Odatv) Insulting the President

October 20 – Ender İmrek (Evrensel) Insulting the President

October 22 – Barış İnce (Birgün) Insulting the President

Gazeteciler Ekim ayında adliye yolunda

More journalists accused of ‘insulting’ Erdoğan

Bianet reported that five journalists from the daily Evrensel joined the long list of colleagues who “insulted” president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to Bianet, responsible editor Vural Nasuhbeyoğlu and owner Mehmet Akif Koşar have a trial started against them for insulting the president. The first hearing is on October 1.

Meanwhile, columnists İhsan Çaralan, Mustafa Köz and Erol Aral are under investigation by the authoroties for the suspicion of insulting Erdoğan by their columns.

According to the Bianet count, at least 19 journalists have dealt with judiciary action for “insulting” Erdoğan in September only. The Bianet list: “Ekrem Dumanlı (Zaman),Ertuğrul Özkök (Hürriyet), Yavuz Baydar (Bugün), Tayfun Talipoğlu(Yurt), Onur Erem (BirGün), Murat Çapan (Nokta), Hasan Cemal (T24),Aytekin Gezici (Twitter),  Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu (Türk Solu), Atilla Taş(Meydan), Gülizar Baki (Meydan), Levent Kenez (Meydan), Ahmet Altan(2), Vural Nasuhbeyoğlu (Evrensel), Mehmet Akif Koşar (Evrensel),İhsan Çaralan (2) (Evrensel), Erol Aral (Evrensel) & Mustafa Köz(Evrensel)”

Gazetecilere Her Gün “Erdoğan” İşlemi

Yet more legal action for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

Three other journalists are being investigated for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: Ahmet Altan (formerly daily Taraf), Hasan Cemal (T24) and Levent Kenez (daily Meydan)

Journalist Ahmet Altan being investigated for ‘insulting Erdoğan’

Journalist Hasan Cemal called to testify over column on Erdoğan

Meydan daily, editor-in-chief probed for reporting on Demirtaş interview

A name is added to this list almost every other day in Turkey as Erdoğan practices the related law like no other president before him since he came into office. Just the journalists faced legal action due to “insulting” Erdoğan only in September include: Onur Erem (daily Birgün), Murat Çapan (weekly Nokta), Ertuğrul Özkök (daily Hürriyet, Ekrem Dumanlı (daily Zaman), Yavuz Baydar (dailies Bugün and Today’s Zaman).