European Federation of Journalists

Cyprus: Journalists of “Afrika” to face charges in Turkey

Reporter and editor of a Cyprus daily newspaper “Afrika” Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman have been informed by the local police officers in Northern Cyprus that a prosecution process has been launched against them in Ankara, Turkey, over criticism towards military actions of Turkey in Syria and the Turkish government.

There are two cases filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara against the journalists. The first one concerns a publication released in January 2018 criticising the military operation in Afrin led by Turkey, comparing it to Turkish occupation of Cyprus, to which the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted negatively. Following the President’s remarks, a mob attacked “Afrika” headquarters in Nicosia in January 2018.

The second case filed against the daily concerns an article “Zorba the Cypriot” written by Levent in February 2018, criticising the Turkish government.

“Journalists are the vital component of democracy, and the right to express their views should be protected, not criminalised. Turkey is facing international criticism for prosecuting and jailing more than 150 journalists, and expansion beyond the country’s borders shall not be taken lightly”, reacted the European Federation of Journalists.

Photo credit: AFP / Birol Bebek.