Journalist Can Dündar is seen in Berlin, Germany, on April 7, 2017. A Turkish court recently threatened to seize the exiled journalist's assets. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

Turkey threatens to seize assets of exiled journalist Can Dündar

Istanbul, September 17, 2020 – An Istanbul court today announced that Can Dündar, an exiled Turkish journalist living in Germany, would be declared a fugitive and his assets would be seized unless he returns to the country within 15 days, according to news reports.

“Journalist Can Dündar has already paid a high price for his independent journalism, including being forced to leave his homeland behind,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. “Turkish authorities should immediately revoke today’s court decision to seize the journalist’s assets in Turkey, and cease such vengeful persecution for his critical journalistic work.”

In a tweet about the court’s decision, Dündar wrote that authorities were threatening to seize a family home where his mother still lives.

Dündar received CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in 2016 in recognition of his fight against government harassment and prosecution on anti-state charges while working as the chief editor of pro-opposition daily Cumhuriyet. He now runs the Özgürüz radio station, a broadcaster frequently blocked by Turkish authorities, as CPJ has documented.