Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Journalist Özgür Boğatekin sent to prison over 2014 news coverage

Journalist Özgür Boğatekin sent to prison over 2014 news coverage

Boğatekin was sentenced in 2015 to 1 year and 15 days in prison over his reporting about the former district governor of Gerger 


Özgür Boğatekin, the news director of Gerger Fırat, a local newspaper published in Adıyaman province, surrendered to the Adıyaman Semi-Open Prison on 26 August 2020 to serve a sentence he was given in 2015 in a defamation case.

Boğatekin was released the same day under judicial control measures after the execution of his sentence was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boğatekin stood trial at the Gerger Criminal Court of First Instance in 2014-2015 over a number of news reports critical of Ömer Bilgin, Gerger’s former district governor. At the end of his trial, Boğatekin was sentenced to 1 year and 15 days in prison for “libel and insult.” 

Reviewing the appeal against the verdict on 9 March 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Boğatekin’s conviction. Boğatekin received a notice from the Gerger Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on 19 August, ordering him to report to prison in 10 days.

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had launched a separate criminal investigation against Özgür Boğatekin’s father Hacı Boğatekin, who is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Gerger Fırat, over the same news coverage. However, the public prosecutor overseeing the investigation against Hacı Boğatekin ruled for non-prosecution, saying the news reports were within freedom of expression.