Journalist freed pending trial
An Istanbul court on October 31, ordered Ali Sönmez Kayar, a reporter for the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), to be freed pending trial, the independent news website Bianet reported. Kayar, who is charged with “being a member of a [terrorist] organization,” was released under judicial control and is under a foreign travel ban, the report said. The trial is due to resume on February 19, 2019, the report said. Kayar was first taken into custody on Febuary 1, 2018, CPJ documented at the time.
Court orders editor to remain in jail
Ece Sevim Öztürk, chief editor for the news website was at court in Istanbul today, her outlet reported. The journalist again pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the court ruled she should remain in custody, and set the next court session for December 11, 2018, according to the report.
The journalist is charged with “making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization” and “willingly and knowingly aiding a [terrorist]” organization according to reports.
Öztürk, who has 69,000 Twitter followers, reports on allegations about the failed coup attempt. CPJ documented how she was detained on June 8, shortly after the ultranationalist news website Odatv and pro-government daily Yeni Şafak accused her of being involved with the so-called FETÖ group, which the government blames for the failed attempted coup in 2016.