European Federation of Journalists

Turkey: Editor Furkan Karabay arrested following an article on the trial of judiciary members charged with corruption

People gather in front of Caglayan courthouse in Istanbul as Republican People's Party (CHP), 6 September 2019. Credits: OZAN KOSE / AFP

Furkan Karabay, editor for the independent news website Gerçek Gündem (“The Real Agenda”),  was taken into custody by the Istanbul police on 28 December 2023, following an article on the trial of judiciary members. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) demand his immediate release and urge the authorities to withdraw all charges against him. 

Karabay was taken to the Çağlayan Courthouse (Istanbul), by police officers who arrested him in the early hours of 28 December. After spending the night at the police station, the editor was released pending trial. 

His detention follows a story published on 27 December, about a case of ongoing corruption and bribery trial of members of the judiciary. Even though the article was based on publicly available court minutes, Karaba was arrested on suspicion of “making targets of those who were tasked to combat terrorism” and “slander”. 

“Article 6 of the TMK has become a tool to intimidate journalists,” wrote the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS).

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger says: “We continue to witness the denial of press freedom and freedom of expression. Journalists suffer this on a daily basis and this is unacceptable. It is imperative that the authorities release Furkan Karabay and that prompt investigations are carried out.” 

“This detention is pure intimidation,” added EFJ General Secretary Ricardo GUtiérrez. “We call on the authorities to let journalists do their job, especially when it comes to exposing corruption involving officials.”