Turkey releases journalists, grave concerns remain

New York, March 12, 2012–The release of Turkish journalists Nedim Şener, Ahmet Şık, Muhammet Sait Çakır, and Coşkun Musluk, who are among dozens of journalists imprisoned in Turkey for alleged participation in a purported antistate plot known as Ergenekon, is a welcome development, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

“We are relieved that Nedim Şener, Ahmet Şık, Muhammet Sait Çakır, and Coşkun Musluk are free while their trial proceeds, but remain concerned about the continued imprisonment of dozens of journalists and media workers in Turkey who are languishing in jail pending trial,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “The government must go beyond this mere gesture and release all journalists incarcerated under Turkey’s vague penal and anti-terror laws. Fundamental reform of the country’s legislation to align it with international standards is also essential.”

Şener, Şık, Çakır, and Musluk were among 10 detained suspects currently on trial together in the controversial OdaTV case. On Monday, a court in Istanbul ruled that the four will be tried without arrest.