Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp jailed pending trial; number of journalists in prison rises to at least 165 

Etkin news agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp were jailed pending trial by an Istanbul court on April 19, seven days after they were taken into custody during early morning police raids on their homes on April 13.

Şahin and Gayıp were placed in pretrial detention alongside two other people, Ferhat Harun Pehlivan, a member of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF), and Gülsen İmre, by a night court after waiting for 10 hours for a judgeship to take their statements after a prosecutor, without taking their statements, referred all four to a Criminal Judgeship of Peace requesting their detention on “membership in a terrorist group” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group” charges.

Şahin said in her statement before the judgeship that the reason she was appearing before a court was her being an opposition journalist. Noting that four of her co-workers from ETHA were already in prison, Şahin said, “We might be sent to prison too, but we will nonetheless continue with our dissident journalism.”

Following the completion of all four statements, the judgeship jailed Şahin on both “membership in a terrorist organization” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges, Gayıp on “membership in a terrorist group” charge, and Pehlivan and İmre on “propaganda” charges.

Adil Demirci, a German-based correspondent for ETHA, who was taken into custody on the same day as Şahin and Gayıp, was jailed pending trial on April 17, also on terrorism-related charges.

Following the detentions of Şahin and Gayıp, the number of journalists in prison in Turkey became at least 165. The full list can be accessed here.