Police in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa on October 1, 2016, detained Sadık Demir-chairman of the board of Fırat Press Broadcast, which owns Radio Karacadağ. The government on September 30, 2016, had ordered the radio station closed by decree, using emergency powers it assumed after a failed July 2016 military coup, saying the station was a threat to national security, CPJ reported at the time.
Şanlıurfa’s First Court of Penal Peace on October 18 ordered Demir jailed on charges of “making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization,” the Kudistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in connection with Radio Karacadağ broadcasts, according to partial court documents reviewed by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The portion of the record of Demir’s arraignment hearing that CPJ was able to review noted that Demir denied all terrorism charges against him. The document notes that Demir’s lawyer argued that Demir’s position at Fırat Press Broadcast meant that he was not responsible for Radio Karacadağ’s editorial content, and references Demir’s answers to police interrogators, to which CPJ did not have access.
The court concluded there was a reasonable suspicion that Demir produced propaganda for a terrorist organization through Radio Karacadağ, and ordered him jailed, pending trial. As of late 2016, no date had been set for that trial to begin. At that time, Demir was held in Şanlıurfa Prison, according to his lawyer.
As of late 2017, CPJ was unable to obtain any updates in the journalist’s case, and his lawyer had not responded to CPJ’s calls.