European Federation of Journalists

Judicial harassment against journalists in Turkey

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are strongly concerned about the judicial harassment in Turkey against journalists and media workers detained for allegedly “being member” or “doing propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation”.

The EFJ-IFJ has received a detailed report about the critical situation of the young (27) female Turkish journalist and law student Aysenur Parildak, arrested for more than 9 months, released by court on 2nd of May 2017 and immediately re-arrested the same day with new charges related to the same facts (being correspondent for Zaman newspaper).

Similarly mid-April 2017, 12 journalists (Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan Acar, Abdullah Kılıç, Oğuz Usluer, Atilla Taş, Hüseyin Aydın, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan, Seyit Kılıç and Yetkin Yıldız) arrested on 30 August 2016 for being member of an illegal terrorist organisation  were released mid-April 2017 by a court in Istanbul and immediately re-arrested on charges of “trying to topple the constitutional order and the Turkish government” based on the same facts.

In April 2017 in the city of Nusaybin, female journalist Meltem Oktay working for DIHA news agency was detained for reporting under the same of emergency, released by court decision in Mardin and re-arrested immediately on charges of “doing propaganda” by another court in Edirne,

Also in the same month in the city of Antalya, 5 arrested journalists (out of 8) were released by a court and re-arrested immediately by another court decision with other charges based on the same facts.

In various cases, even the judges ordering the release of journalists were prosecuted and suspended for taking these decisions raising questions about the access to a fair trial for detainees.

“We call on the Turkish authorities to stop the judicial harassment against journalists and media workers and stop misusing anti-terror legislations to maintain professional journalists in detention for evolving charges. We will report these cases to the Council of Europe’s platform for the protection and safety of journalists”, said EFJ-IFJ in a statement.

Picture : Aysenur Parildak prosecuted for her work at Zaman newspaper (credit : twitter profile)