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.
Recent arrest of reporter Mehmet Güleş brings number of journalists in prison to 149
Mehmet Güleş, a reporter for the shuttered Dicle News Agency (DIHA), was put under arrest on Dec. 7.
Güleş was arrested after his initial detention on the same date in Elazığ province. According to media reports, Güleş exercised his right to remain silent during his police interrogation and was arrested by an Elazığ court on charges of propagating for a terrorist organization. The court has treated news reports filed by him while working at DIHA, his Facebook posts and mobile phone traffic as evidence.
P24 has also recently become aware that two Zaman employees -- Ali Babür Boysal, a page designer, and Tahsin Kürklü, head of the newspaper’s transportation department -- were arrested in the coup investigation. Addition of these two men to P24’s list and Güleş’s arrest bring the total number of journalists in prison to 149. The full list of journalists in prison can be viewed here.
Legal proceedings, access bans
On Dec. 7, prosecutors rejected an appeal filed by lawyers representing journalists of Cumhuriyet, demanding the release of their clients on the grounds that “evidence for the case has not yet been collected.”
A court has accepted an indictment against two journalists -- Hüseyin Tahmaz and Hasan Hayri Şanlı -- who participated in a solidarity campaign for Özgür Gündem. The first hearing in the trial -- where the journalists are accused of propagating for a terrorist organization -- is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2017.
On Dec. 6, a court banned access to the online version of a news report by journalist Çiğdem Toker, published on July 11 by Cumhuriyet on SADAT A.Ş., a private military training company whose founder was appointed as an advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
On Dec. 9, journalist and painter Zehra Doğan will appear before a Mardin court following her arrest on July 23. Doğan, who was detained on July 22 while sitting at a Mardin café, is charged with membership in a terrorist organization and propagating for a terrorist organization.