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 - 49

Journalists in State of Emergency - 49

Nur Ener, a news editor with the Yeni Asya daily, was arrested on March 6.

Yeni Asya reported that Ener was detained during a raid of her home March 3. She was taken to the Courthouse after three days in detention. The 4th Criminal Judicature of Peace ruled for her arrest on charges of membership in a terrorist organization. She was put in Bakırköy Prison for women.

Ener was jailed for membership in “FETÖ/PDY”, the name given to the followers of Muslim Preacher Fethullah Gülen, who the government alleges is behind the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. Ener was accused of having installed a communications tool named “Bylock” on her phone. Judicial authorities say this application was used by the network’s members to organize the coup attempt.

Her arrest brings the number of imprisoned journalists in Turkey to 155. The complete list can be viewed here.

Two journalists detained

On March 4, journalist Yusuf Topaloğlu was detained in Adıyaman province. The reasons for his detention remain unclear. Topaloğlu is being kept at the Adıyaman Police Department.

Also on March 4, Ramazan Ölçen, who owns the copyrights associated with the Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya Welat -- which was shut down under State of Emergency -- was detained in a home raid in Bağlar, Diyarbakır. The journalist, whose reason for detention remains unknown, was taken to the Diyarbakır Police Department.

Journalists on trial

Zehra Doğan, a JINHA journalist who was released from prison on Dec. 9, 2016, was given two years nine months and 22 days l in prison. In a trial session heard on March 3 by the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court, Doğan was acquitted from charges of “membership of a terrorist organization”, but she was given a prison term based on her social media posts and a news story published in 2015.

On March 2, journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan, who is also a contributor to P24’s Blog, appeared before a court on charges of insulting the president in televised remarks. Altan, who has been in in prison since September when he was arrested on charges of involvement in the coup attempt, testified via video-conferencing. In his testimony, he said his statement about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan constituted no more than criticism. The trial was adjourned until June 20.

Two Evrensel journalists, Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim Polat, who were previously detained on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, were tried in the second session of the trial they face on March 3. The trial was adjourned until April 3.

Murat Belge, who was on trial for insulting the president in a column published in the shuttered Taraf daily in 2015, was acquitted in a trial session on March 2.

RTÜK trying to take off air pro-Kurdish stations broadcasting in Europe

The news website Diken has reported that the Supreme Radio and Television Board (RTÜK)-- the Turkish media regulator which is often criticized for not being independent of the government -- is planning to conduct talks with the French satellite company Eutelsat. RTÜK representatives will ask the satellite operator to remove the pro-Kurdish stations News Channel TV, Ronahi TV and Sterk TV from the satellite platform.

Initiatives by RTÜK in the past had let to the suspension of broadcasts by pro-Kurdish stations Med Nuçe TV, Newruz TV and Mefküre TV.