European Federation of Journalists

Turkey’s journalists prosecution marathon has started !

This morning (21/09/2016), the Caglayan Court of Justice in Istanbul heard 5 different prosecution cases against journalists. The EFJ-IFJ and its affiliates TGS (Journalists Union of Turkey), DISK-Basin-Is (Journalists Union of Turkey from DISK) and TGC (Journalists Association of Turkey) have been able to observe the following cases :

  • dilekdundarthe appeal in the MIT Trucks case where journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül  working for Cumhuriyet newspaper who were sentenced to 5 years in jail for revealing state secrets and arms trafficking between Turkish intelligence services (MIT) and Syrian armed rebel groups. The hearing was held in secret but this did not put off the many supporters, including Dündar’s wife, who turned up to the court.
  • the OdaTV case investigative journalists were accused of being members of a secret illegal organisation called Ergenekon trying to topple the government. This trial has been running for 6 years, despite the overwhelming evidence of their innocence and the fact that previous prosecutors and judges are either in jail or had fled the country for allegedly being themselves members or supporters of an illegal terrorist organisation (Gülen mouvement), today’s judge refused to drop the charges in the absence of a new appointed prosector and adjourned the case to the 24th October.
  • A follow-up on Özgür Gündem solidarity case where a journalist was asked to testify in another court.
  • Journalist Hasan Cemal (T24) being accused of insulting the Turkish president.
  • Journalists and writers Mehmet Altan and Ahmet Altan brothers still held in custody for allegedly giving “subliminal messages suggesting a military coup” during a TV show.

“When one equals five ! We initially came to Istanbul to observe one press trial where Ayse Düzkan and Ragip Duran are being prosecuted. We ended up with another four cases involving over 15 journalists. An attack against one of us is an attack on all of us ! We will continue to follow all the cases offering our solidarity and support. We are asking people in Turkey and Europe to support journalism and democracy because both are under serious threats”, said Barry White (EFJ-IFJ).

Photo Credit : Journalist Erdem Gül giving a declaration before the hearing (all pics : Mehmet Koksal/EFJ)