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.

Lokman Erdoğan

Lokman Erdoğan

Lokman Erdoğan, a columnist for the local daily Manşet, published in the central Anatolian province of Çorum, was arrested on 26 July 2016 during a police raid on the newspaper's offices. Manşet was shut down through an emergency decree. Erdoğan was reportedly accused of "having prior knowledge of the 15 July 2016 coup attempt" based on some articles published in the newspaper. On 23 August 2016, Erdoğan was jailed pending trial on the charge of "membership of a terrorist organization."

The first hearing of the trial in which Erdoğan and five other local journalists -- Murat Öztürk, Nadir Yücel, Burçin Dokgöz, İdris Okur and Musa Ayan -- are charged with "membership of FETÖ/PDY" was held on 16 May 2017. The 2nd High Criminal Court of Çorum heard the defense statements of the journalists, who rejected the accusations and requested to be released. Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to release Manşet responsible managing editor Murat Öztürk under judicial control measures. The court rejected other journalists' requests. 

Erdoğan was released pending trial at the end of the hearing held in July 2017, after spending one year behind bars.