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.

Journalists in State of Emergency – 12

Journalists in State of Emergency – 12

Aslı Erdoğan, a columnist for the shuttered daily Özgür Gündem and a member of the newspaper’s advisory board as well as a world-renowned writer, was arrested on Aug. 19 on charges of “propagating for a terrorist group,” “membership in a terrorist organization,” and “inciting the public to armed violence.”

In her testimony to prosecutors, Aslı Erdoğan said Özgür Gündem’s Advisory Board is a “symbolic” body and her name appearing daily on a list of the newspaper’s editors in print – a legal requirement for newspapers in Turkey – was only a bureaucratic formality, Cumhuriyet reported. In her testimony, Erdoğan said: “I started writing columns for Özgür Gündem in March or April of 2011. As a writer, I have seven published novels, which have been translated into 15 foreign languages. I also write regularly for the literary journals Fil and Kara Karga. I have no links to any terrorist organization in any shape or form. The advisory board has no authority to decide on contributors or the newspaper’s editorial policy. My name appearing on the list of editorial staff is a complete formality. I deny all the charges leveled against me.”

A large number of domestic and international organizations have protested against Erdoğan’s arrest. International publishers have expressed “deep concern” over the arrest while the Turkish Office Amnesty International described Aslı Erdoğan’s arrest as being “unacceptable.”

Hours before Erdoğan’s arrest on Aug. 19, nearly 100 Turkish writers held a protest to condemn Erdoğan’s detention.

In a related development, journalist Fehim Işık suggested in a tweet that the judiciary was widely divided on Erdoğan’s arrest, and she had been deliberately referred to a prosecutor who was most likely to arrest her.

Also on Aug. 19, the former editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem, Eren Keskin, whose home was raided on Aug. 16 after newspaper’s closure, tweeted that she had made an appointment with the Bakırköy Prosecutor’s Office to testify on Aug. 23, hinting that she also expected an arrest.

Releases after Özgür Gündem raid

Twenty two out of the 25 journalists who were taken into custody on August 16, on the same day as Aslı Erdoğan was taken into custody, in an operation targeting Özgür Gündem were released on August 18. The newspaper’s Editor-in-chief Zana Kaya and Newsroom Editor İnan Kızılkaya are still in custody.

Those who were released on August 18 were Elif Aydoğmuş, Sevdiye Ergürbüz, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Amine Demirkıran, Günay Aksoy, Burcu Özkara, Kemal Bozkurt, Önder Elaldı, Ender Öndeş, Sinan Balık, Davut Uçar, Fırat Yeşilçınar, Zeki Erden, Doğan Güzel, Ersin Çaksu ve Bayram Balcı; Dicle News Agency (DİHA) Reporters Özgür Paksoy and Mesut Kaynar, İMC TV journalists Gökhan Çetin and Gülfem Karataş; Yılmaz Bozkurt fromt he press Office of the Istanbul Medical Chamber and Hüseyin Gündüz from the Doğu Publishing House. The journalists were initially taken into custody for “resisting” the police raid on Özgür Gündem.

Allegations of maltreatment, beating and rape threats

The 22 journalists who were released on Aug. 18 told prosecutors that they had been subject to maltreatment and torture at the hands of the police. Gülfem Karataş, an İMC TV reporter who was at Özgür Gündem’s office to report on the raid, said she had been beaten up with a chain and had been threatened with rape by detention officers. Karataş’s statement was included in her official testimony at the prosecutor’s office.

Other arrests and release decisions in non-coup related investigations

In operations targeting journalists outside the coup probe, DİHA Lice reporter Metin Bekiroğlu, who was detained on Aug. 15, was put under arrest on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization.”

On August 18, two other journalists were released. Meltem Oktay, a DİHA reporter, who was taken into custody on April 11 and later arrested on April 14 – months before the State of Emergency declaration --- on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization.” was released. ETHA journalist Fatma Edemen, who was ddetaine don Aug. 15 in the capital, was released on probation also on Aug. 18.

Latest in the coup probe

Alaattin Kaya, who formerly owned the rights to the Zaman newspaper, was detained on Aug. 19 as part of the investigation launched after the failed coup attempt of July 15. Kaya’s name was on the list of those wanted in the investigation into journalists and owners of media outlets suspected of having links to the failed coup.

On Aug. 18, four of the 43 TRT employees detained on Aug. 11 were released by the prosecutor’s office, which referred the others to court. A court has ruled for the arrest of 19 of the TRT journalists and ruled to release the other 20 on probation. No names were shared and the exact titles of those under arrest are currently unkown.

Last known legal status of journalists for whom detention warrants have been issued as part of post-coup probe

Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Samanyolu TV, Left the country according to AA
Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, In custody
Abdullah Kılıç, Meydan Gazetesi  columnist, Under arrest
Abdullah Özyurt, local Adana journalist, Under arrest
Adil Gülçek, Former Cihan Medya Director
Ahmet Dönmez, Former Zaman reporter, Left the country according to AA
Ahmet Memiş, Haberdar, In custody
Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Vice President of Cihan Media Executive Board, Under arrest
Ahmet Turan Alkan, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum), Under arrest
Alaattin Güner, Former Cihan Medya Director, Under arrest

Alaattin Kaya, former owner to Zaman’s rights, Under arrest

Ali Akbulut, owner of Zaman’s rights, formerly
Ali Akkuş, Former Zaman General Publications Editor, Under arrest
Ali Bulaç ,Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Arda Akın, Hürriyet reporter, Released on probation
Arzu Yıldız, Haberdar Ankara Bureau Chief
Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, Yarına Bakış, Under arrest
Aytekin Gezici, Under arrest
Ayşenur Parıldak, former Zaman correspondent, Under arrest
Bayram Kaya, Zaman, Yeni Hayat reporter, Under arrest
Behçet Akyar
Bertan Golal, TRT İstanbul, In custody
Bilal Şahin, Özgür Düşünce, Left the country according to AA
Bülent Ceyhan, Özgür Düşünce reporter, Left the country according to AA
Bülent Keneş, Former Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief
Bülent Korucu, Former Zaman columnist
Bülent Mumay, Former Hürriyet Digital Publications Coordinator, Released by court order
Bünyamin Köseli, Former Aksiyon reporter, Under arrest
Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Under arrest
Cevheri Güven, Nokta Magazine Editor-in-Chief
Cihan Acar, Former Bugün reporter, Under arrest
Cuma Kaya, Under arrest
Cuma Ulus, Former Publications Coordinator for Millet daily, Under arrest
Emre Koçali, Haberdar, In custody
Emre Soncan, Former Zaman Defense Reporter, Under arrest
Ercan Gün, Fox TV News Editor, Released on probation, arrested in another investigation
Erkan Akkuş, Former Bugün TV Anchor
Erkan Büyük, Haberdar, In custody
Ertuğrul Erbaş, Former Nokta Magazine Editor
Faruk Akkan, Cihan Ajansı, Under arrest
Faruk Kardıç
Fatih Akalan, Samanyolu Haber Tv commentator, Left the country according to AA
Fatih Yağmur, Former Radikal reporter, Left the country according to AA
Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman Visual Director (formerly), Under arrest
Habip Güler, Former Zaman reporter, Under arrest
Hakan Bülent Yardımcı, In custody
Hakan Taşdelen, Under arrest
Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum), Under arrest
Hamit Bilici, Former Zaman Editor-in-Chief
Hamit Çiçek
Hanım Büşra Erdal, Former Zaman reporter and  columnist, Under arrest
Haşim Söylemez, Former Aksiyon Magazine columnist, Under arrest
Hilmi Yavuz, Former Zaman  columnist, Released due to poor health, will testify at a later time
Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter, Under arrest
Hüseyin Döğme
Hüseyin Turan, Partner in Feza Group (owners of Zaman), Under arrest
İbrahim Balta, Former Zaman Business Editor, Under arrest
İhsan Duran Dağı, Former Zaman  columnist, Released by prosecutor without court referral
İsi Siyi, Haberdar, In custody
Kamil Maman, Former Bugün reporter, Left the country according to AA
Kerim Gün, Former Zaman Editor
Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Levent Kenez, Meydan Gazetesi Editor-in-Chief
Lokman Erdoğan, Çorum Manşet (local newspaper), In custody
Mahmut Hazar, Cihan News Agency, Left the country according to AA
Mehmet Akif Afşar
Mehmet Gündem, Former Milliyet columnist, Released by court order
Mehmet Kamış, Former Zaman columnist
Mehmet Özdemir, Under arrest
Melih Kılıç, Zaman Media Group Sales Department
Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu
Metin Yıkar, Samanyolu Haber
Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Former Zaman News Manager
Murat Avcıoğlu, Under arrest
Mustafa Erkan Acar, Cihan News Agency, Under arrest
Mustafa Ünal, Under arrest
Mümtaz'er Türköne, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Mürsel Genç, Former Cihan reporter
Nevzat Güner
Nuri Durna, TRT (Ezurum), Under arrest
Nuriye Ural (Akman), Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Oktay Vızvız,
Olgun Batur, Local Antalya journalist, In custody
Osman Nuri Arslan, Partner in finance company FIA, Released on probation
Osman Nuri Öztürk, Released on probation
Ömer Karakaş
Özcan Keser,  TRT İstanbul, In custody
Rıfat Söylemez, Adana Günaydın (local newspaper), In custody
Sait Sefa, Haberdar
Sedat Yetişkin
Selahattin Sevi, Former Zaman Photograpy Coordinator, Left the country according to AA
Sevgi Akarçeşme, Former Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief
Seyid Kılıç, Former TRT reporter, Under arrest
Süleyman Sargın
Şahin Alpay, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Şenol Kahraman
Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV, Under arrest
Taner Talaş, Adana Yerel, In custody
Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya, In custody
Turan Görüryılmaz, Can Erzincan TV anchor, Left the country according to AA
Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Karşı Gazete reporter, Left the country according to AA
Ufuk Şanlı, Former Vatan columnist, Under arrest
Veysel Ayhan
Yakup Çetin, Former Zaman reporter, Under arrest
Yakup Sağlam, Former Samanyolu reporter, Released on probation
Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum), Under arrest
Yüksel Durgut
Yüksel Evsen, Adana local journalist, In custody
Zafer Özsoy, Under arrest
Zeki Önal, Not taken into custody due to advanced age and illness; his home was searched

Journalists detained under State of Emergency outside coup probe

Selami Aslan – DİHA, Released

Mehmet Sıddık Damar – DİHA, Released

Esra Aydın – JİNHA, Released

Geylan Arslan – JİNHA, Released

Nizamettin Yılmaz – Azadiya Welat, In custody

İdris Yılmaz – DİHA, In custody

Selman Keleş – DİHA, In custody

Hasan Akbaş – Evrensel, Released

Fırat Topal – Evrensel, Released

Serpil Berk – Evrensel, Released

Sertaç Kayar – Freelance journalist, Released

Engin Eren – DİHA, Released

Fatma Edemen – ETHA, Released

Zana Kaya – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Günay Aksoy – Özgür Gündem, Released

Kemal Bozkurt – Özgür Gündem, Released

Reyhan Hacıoğlu – Özgür Gündem, Released

Önder Elaldı – Özgür Gündem, Released

Ender Önder – Özgür Gündem, Released

Sinan Balık – Özgür Gündem, Released

Fırat Yeşilçınar – Özgür Gündem, Released

İnan Kızılkaya – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Özgür Paksoy – DİHA muhabiri, Released

Zeki Erden – Özgür Gündem, Released

Elif Aydoğmuş – Özgür Gündem, Released

Bilir Kaya – Özgür Gündem, Released

Ersin Çaksu – Özgür Gündem, Released

Mesut Kaynar – DİHA, Released

Sevdiye Gürbüz – Özgür Gündem, Released

Amine Demirkıran – Özgür Gündem, Released

Bayram Balcı – Özgür Gündem, Released

Burcu Özkaya – Özgür Gündem, Released

Yılmaz Bozkurt – İstanbul Tabip Odası Basın Bürosu, Released 

Gülfem Karataş – İMC TV, Released

Gökhan Çetin – İMC TV, Released

Hüseyin Gündüz – Doğu Publishing House, Released

Journalists known to have been arrested during State of Emergency outside coup probe

Zeynel Abidin Bulut – Azadiya Welat, Under arrest

Zehra Doğan – JİNHA, Under arrest 

Hülya Karakaya – Özgür Halk, Under arrest

Mehmet Arslan – DİHA, Under arrest

Lindsey Snell – Freelance journalist, Under arrest

Şermin Soydan – DİHA (arrested before the declaration of the State of Emergency), Under arrest

Metin Bekiroğlu –  DİHA, Under arrest

Aslı Erdoğan – Özgür Gündem, Under arrest

List of media outlets shut down under State of Emergency decrees

TV Stations: Barış TV, Bugün TV, Can Erzincan TV, Dünya TV, Hira TV, Irmak TV, Kanal 124, Kanaltürk, MC TV, Mehtap TV, Merkür TV, Samanyolu Haber, Samanyolu TV, SRT TV, Tuna Shopping TV, Yumurcak TV.

News Agencies: Cihan Haber Ajansı, Muhabir Haber Ajansı and  SEM Haber Ajansı

Newspapers: Adana Haber, Adana Medya, Akdeniz Türk, Şuhut’un Sesi, Kurtuluş, Lider, İscehisar, Durum, Türkeli, Antalya, Yerel Bakış, Nazar, Batman, Batman Postası, Batman Doğuş, Bingöl Olay, İrade, İskenderun Olay, Ekonomi, Ege’de Son Söz, Demokrat Gebze, Kocaeli Manşet, Bizim Kocaeli, Haber Kütahya, Gediz, Zafer, Hisar, Turgutlu Havadis, Milas Feza, Türkiye’de Yeni Yıldız, Hakikat, Urfa Haber Ajansı, Ajans 11, Yeni Emek, Banaz Postası, Son Nokta, Merkür Haber, Millet, Bugün, Meydan, Özgür Düşünce, Taraf, Yarına Bakış, Yeni Hayat, Zaman, Today’s Zaman, Özgür Gündem.

Magazines: Akademik Araştırmalar, Aksiyon, Asya Pasifik, Bisiklet Çocuk, Diyalog, Avrasya, Ekolife, Ekoloji, Fountain, Gonca, Gül Yaprağı, Nokta, Sızıntı, Yağmur, Yeni Ümit, Zirve.

Radio stations: Aksaray Mavi, Aktüel, Berfin, Burç, Cihan, Dünya, Esra, Haber Radyo Ege, Herkül, Jest, Kanaltürk, Radyo 59, Radyo Aile Rehberi, Radyo Bamteli, Radyo Cihan, Radyo Fıkıh, Radyo Küre, Radyo Mehtap, Radyo Nur, Radyo Şemşik, Samanyolu Haber, Umut, Yağmur.

Publishing houses: Altınburç, Burak Basın Yayın Dağıtım, Define, Dolunay Eğitim Yayın Dağıtım, Giresun Basın Yayın Dağıtım, Gonca, Gülyurdu, GYV, Işık Akademi, Işık Özel Eğitim, İklim Basın Yayın Pazarlama, Kaydırak, Kaynak, Kervan Basın Yayıncılık, Kuşak, Muştu, Nil, Rehber, Sürat Basım Yayın Reklamcılık Eğitim Araçları, Sütun, Şahdamar, Ufuk Basın Yayın Haber Ajans Pazarlama, Ufuk, Waşanxaneya Nil, Yay Basın Dağıtım, Yeni Akademi, Yitik Hazine, Zambak Basın Yayın Eğitim Turizm

*Glossary of legal terms used in this text

Detain / Place in custody: To hold in police custody for police interrogation first, and later for testimony to a prosecutor. Might lead to a court appearance depending on the action taken by the prosecutor. 

Arrest: To put into prison indefinitely – by court order – pending trial. 

Released on probation: Released with an international flight ban issued. Usually entails checking in regularly with a designated police station. 

These lists have been compiled by P24 editors from open news sources and will be updated regularly. Journalists who want to report developments about themselves or their colleagues can contact us at