Investigative reporter arrested on propaganda charges
The prominent investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was arrested yesterday on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda. Şık, who was detained in relation to his published writings and posts on social media, was also accused of “publicly humiliating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs; military and police organizations,” Cumhuriyet reported. Prosecutors questioned Şık over his tweets, three published articles, a public statement, and an interview, according to Hürriyet.
Özgür Gündem journalists released from jail as trial continues
Arrested journalists Necmiye Alpay, Aslı Erdoğan, and Zana Bilir Kaya were released under judicial control after the first hearing in the trial of shuttered daily Özgür Gündem, the daily Evrensel reported. Responsible news editor İnan Kızılkaya is the only suspect in that trial who remains in custody and, as the editor considered legally responsible for the outlet’s content, is a defendant in dozens of other cases brought against Özgür Gündem, which was shut down by the government in August. Editor-in-chief Kaya and publishing board members Alpay and Erdoğan will be subject to a foreign travel ban as the trial proceeds.
State watchdog penalizes public broadcaster for assassination video
Turkey’s official radio and television watchdog RTÜK penalized the country’s national broadcaster, TRT, for broadcasting video of the assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, T24 reported. Representatives of the leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) also voted in favor of the penalties, alleging that the decision to broadcast the video is an instance of “praising terrorism,” the report said. The details of the penalty have not yet been publicized.
Detention periods for detained journalists extended
The detention periods for six journalists detained on December 25 were extended to 30 days, independent news outlet Bianet reported. Ömer Çelik, Metin Yoksu, Derya Okatan, Eray Saygın, Mahir Kanaat, and Tunca Öğreten were arrested for alleged connections to Redhack, a group claiming to be behind the leaked emails of a Turkish minister. The journalists had reportedly been denied access to a lawyer for five days. Lawyer Özcan Kılıç told Bianet that he was finally given access to Çelik, Okatan, and Yoksu today, adding that Okatan is on a hunger strike in protest of the charges.
[Published December 30]