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Supporters of the HDP party gather for an election rally in Batman, on March 12. On June 1, a court in the Turkish city handed down a prison sentence for a journalist who died in October. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 2, 2019

By Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative on June 6, 2019 2:01 PM ET

German journalist accused of insulting president
A prosecutor in Ankara has started an investigation into German journalist Süheyla Kaplan who is accused of "insulting" President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and terrorism propaganda, Deutsche Welle reported. Evidence cited against the journalist includes a political cartoon of the Turkey's president that she shared on Twitter, social media post about Erdoğan's policies, and a speech she gave at an event in Hamburg in 2018, run by leftist political groups from Turkey, the story said. Kaplan has worked for the Anatolia Agency, according to her Twitter profile. The journalist told Deutsche Welle that she wants to testify in Germany because she believes she will be arrested if she goes to Turkey.

Court sentences DIHA founder 9 months after his death

A court in the southeastern city of Batman on June 1 sentenced Kadri Kaya, former Diyarbakır correspondent and founder of the shuttered Dicle News Agency (DIHA), to over two years in prison, apparently unware that the journalist died last year, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reported. Kaya died in October while being treated for cancer. The court found him guilty of "knowingly and willingly aiding a [terrorist] organization," according to the report. At the same hearing, Kaya's former co-defendants Erdoğan Altan, the former Batman correspondent for DIHA, and Mehmet Karabaş, a reporter for the local newspaper Batman Posta, were found guilty of the same charge and sentenced to 25 months in prison, according to reports. They are free pending appeal.

Police detain Ahval columnist

Police in Diyarbakır detained Nurcan Baysal, a columnist for the news website Ahval, on June 3, her employer reported (in English). Baysal was released after being questioned and was not informed about why she was taken into custody, the report said.


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