A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced 25 journalists and media workers to 3 to 7 years prison terms over terrorism links to the Gülen movement. All of the journalists convicted worked for Zaman daily or other media outlets deemed to be close to the movement which is blamed by Turkish authorities of being behind the July 2016 failed coup. The lawyers of the case will appeal against the conviction
Local Courts have ruled continuation of arrest of Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, despite Constitutional Court ruling that their “right to personal freedom and security” and “freedom of expression and press” had been violated. The vice prime minister and government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ has stated: “With its decision on Alpay and Altan, the Constitutional Court crossed the border drawn by the Constitution, it acted like a court of first instance examining evidences and making evaluations on the condition of evidence”.
Recognizing that the rights of imprisoned journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan had been violated, the Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled their release. “I didn’t see the content of the decision but I hope it will pave the way for the release of all journalists. Freedom of expression can be maintained in Turkey”, lawyer Veysel Ok stated. Strong supporter of the Accession of Turkey to the European Union, Mehmet Hasan Altan (1953) is a Turkish academic and journalist, author of over 25 books. He was arrested during the first detention wave, following the July 2016 coup attempt. Alpay (1944) is a writer, journalist and political scientist. Back from Sweden (were he completed his PhD program) he worked for several newspaper - among them “Cumhuriyet”, “Sabah”, “Milliyet”, “Zaman” - and TV channel. He had been jailed pending trial in Zaman case.
Arrested for using encrypted communication software “ByLock” (which is allegedly used by the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization”), the former İhlas News Agency Chief of Intelligence Ömer Faruk Aydemir has been acquitted in the first hearing. In Turkey a large number of people have been detained and arrested for using ByLock.
Brazilian caricaturist Carlos Latuff has announced on his Twitter account that Erdoğan’s lawyers are imposing legal pressure on Twitter for 80 themes in which are included 11 of his caricatures. “Why doesn’t Erdoğan want Turks to access my caricatures? What is Erdoğan afraid of?”, Latuff wrote.
122 journalists entered prison in October. Attempting to base the international cooperation on a strategic ground rather than democratic values, Turkey has shut its ears to critics against rights violations committed during the State of Emergency in the wake of July 15, 2016 coup attempt. However, the issue of media freedom has acquired an unprecedented international dimension. Bianet: read the full article in English
An indictment has been issued for academics from İstanbul, Galatasaray, Boğaziçi, Mimar Sinan, Nişantaşı and Yeni Yüzyıl Universities who have signed the peace declaration “We will not be a party to this crime”. The academics are being charged with “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and are facing 7,5 years in prison.