Semiha Topal

Beats Covered:
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Topal, a reporter for the Antakya bureau of Kurtulus, was arrested, charged, and convicted under Article 168/2 of the Penal Code. She was sentenced to 12 years and six months in Malatya Prison.
Court documents obtained by CPJ state that Topal was detained on December 12, 1995, in an apartment along with two other suspects, for membership in the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). She was accused of taking part in throwing a Molotov cocktail into a car showroom. Topal denied the allegation and denied being at the scene of the crime. The prosecution presented four witnesses who said she was there, a photo negative that they claimed showed her standing behind the showroom’s broken windows, and footprints from the crime scene which they said were Topal’s. She was also accused of hanging leftist banners around the city.
CPJ is still investigating this case out of concern that Topal’s prosecution is part of a pattern of state harassment of Kurtulus.