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People hold Turkish flags during a ceremony marking the 96th anniversary of Victory Day, commemorating a decisive battle in the Turkish War of Independence, in Ankara on August 30, 2018. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 3, 2018

By Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative on September 6, 2018 2:58 PM ET

Journalists in court

The prosecutor in the trial of imprisoned journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, who is charged with "revealing information regarding state security that is supposed to be secret for espionage proposes," asked the 26th Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes for a life sentence, the daily Evrensel reported on September 6. Ilıcak attended the hearing via teleconference from prison and said she received the document in question--about a religious group in Turkey--via Twitter in 2014, and therefore the supposedly secret information was already public when she wrote about it, according to Evrensel. In February, Ilıcak received a life sentence with appeal pending in a separate case, CPJ documented.

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The trial of two journalists who criticized Turkey's 2017 military action in northern Syria on social media has begun, Evrensel reported on September 6. The journalists--Sibel Hürtaş, the Ankara correspondent for the station Artı TV, and Hayri Demir, reporter for the Mezopotamya News Agency--are on trial for "provoking the people into animosity and hatred" and "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organisation" on Twitter. Both journalists, who are free while the trial continues, pleaded not guilty.

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Kemal Yavuzel, news coordinator for the citizen journalism platform Dokuz8 Haber, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for publishing a voice recording of a former minister, allegedly a proof of corruption, online newspaper Gerçek Gündem reported on September 4. The sentence, for "violating the privacy of personal life," was delayed on the condition that he did not violate that law again for the next five years.


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