Kemal Topalak

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

CPJ believes that Topalak may have been prosecuted for his work as a reporter for Devrimci Çözüm.
Court documents indicate that Topolak was detained in a coffee shop and was found to be carrying a counterfeit I.D., which prosecutors said had been acquired in Switzerland through Dev Sol. He was charged under Article 168 of the Penal Code with membership in the outlawed Dev Sol organization.
Police searched Topolak’s house, where they found copies of Devrimci Çözüm and sketches of a hammer and sickle as well as documents allegedly handwritten by Topolak, which the prosecution said linked him and his wife to Dev Sol, for which he allegedly served as a courier. Police said they had statements incriminating Topalak as a Dev Sol member. Topalak admitted to the charges while in police custody but denied them in court. The prosecution alleged that Topolak had visited Damascus “for bomb and gun training,” and that he had two guns in his possession upon arrest.
In his defense, Topolak admitted to having false identification, which he said he procured in Switzerland after losing his real one, but denied receiving the I.D. from Dev Sol. His lawyer said the state’s case relied upon testimony coerced from Topolak under torture during an interrogation at police headquarters. He believes that his client was prosecuted because he is a journalist.
The Ministry of Justice responded to CPJ’s request for information by stating that Topolak had been taken into custody with Bektas Cansever on December 26, 1993: “It was discovered that Mr. Topolak was a member of the illegal leftist organization Dev Sol. Hence, like CPJ reports, he was charged under Article 168/2 of the Penal Code with being a member of an outlawed organization and sentenced to prison. He is in Gebze Prison.” Topolak is serving a sentence of 12 years and six months.From earlier AOP: Topalak, a reporter for Devrimci Çözüm, was taken into custody during a police raid on the magazine’s headquarters in Istanbul. He was subsequently arrested.