Press freedom advocates chant hold a banner saying "To hell with despotism, long live freedom" outside an Istanbul courthouse where journalists from Cumhuriyet newspaper stood trial, July 28, 2017. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)
Press freedom advocates chant hold a banner saying "To hell with despotism, long live freedom" outside an Istanbul courthouse where journalists from Cumhuriyet newspaper stood trial, July 28, 2017. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 30, 2017

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Court jails two journalists pending trial
A court in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep on August 2 ordered Furkan Gökşen, a reporter for the local newspaper Detay Haber, and Murat Güreş, a columnist for the local newspaper Ayıntap, jailed pending trial on charges of “violating the secrecy of an investigation,” the leftist daily newspaper Evrensel reported. The court ordered Metin Aybey, a columnist for the local newspaper Doğuş, released on probation, pending trial on the same charge. Kadir Akkurt, whom police also arrested on August 2 on the same charge, was released after police questioning, Evrensel reported.

Prosecutors allege that the journalists published statements of a suspect being investigated for being a follower of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the government blames for masterminding a failed military coup in July 2016.

TV reporter released on probation
A court in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır on August 2 ordered Rojhat Doğru, reporter for the Iraqi Kurdish broadcaster NRT TV, released on probation, the newspaper Gazete Karınca reported. Police arrested him from his home on July 25.

[August 4, 2017]

News website censored for 57th time
Turkish regulators blocked access to the leftist news website sendika.org for the 57th time yesterday, the website reported at its new address, sendika58.org.

Three journalists jailed for reporting on arrest
Police in the southeastern city of Gaziantep today arrested Metin Aybey, a columnist for the local newspaper Doğuş; Murat Güreş, a columnist for the local newspaper Ayıntap; and Furkan Göksen, a reporter for the local newspaper Detay Haber, the pro-opposition national daily newspaper Cumhuriyet reported today. The journalists are being held on suspicion of “violating the secrecy of an investigation” for publishing the statements of a man arrested on suspicion of being a follower of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the government blames for masterminding a failed military coup in July 2016. Police also confiscated the journalists’ computers, Cumhuriyet reported.

[August 2, 2017]

Authorities censor news website for 56th time
The Turkish telecommunications authority blocked access to leftist news website sendika.org for the 56th time, the site reported at its new address, sendika57.org today.

Pro-Kurdish newspaper distributors arrested
Police in the Mediterranean city of Mersin today arrested Zinet Aşan and Cemile Çiftçi as they distributed the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi to newsstands, the news website Dihaber reported. The two women were also distributing the Rojeva Medya newspaper, according to the report.

[August 1, 2017]

Police arrest two Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper employees
Police in Tarsus arrested Özkan Erdoğan on suspicion of being a member of a terrorist organization based on his possession of an unspecified magazine, his employer, the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reported on July 28. They arrested Serkan Erdoğan, his housemate and colleague at Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, in a raid of their home the following day, the newspaper reported.

[July 31, 2017]