Journalist Cem Bahtiyar sent to prison over social media posts and news articles; 157 journalists are in prison across Turkey

Former BirGün journalist Mete Cem Bahtiyar was imprisoned pending trial on February 7 for “terrorism propaganda” over his social media posts and news reports.Bahtiyar was reportedly arrested a day before in a police raid of his home in the western province of Balıkesir.

Police teams searching Bahtiyar’s home seized his computer and phone as well as a number of books, including those authored by Turkish journalist İsmail Saymaz and linguist Noam Chomsky.

Bahtiyar said in his statement that he has not been actively involved in journalism fort he past three years. “Before, I was a reporter for BirGün newspaper. I have not spread propaganda for any terrorist organization, I am not member of any group,” Bahtiyar said.

With Bahtiyar’s imprisonment, the number of journalists serving conviction or held in pre-trial detention in Turkey has risen to 157. The full list can be accessed here.


For a full list of all the imprisoned journalists in Turkey, visit this spreadsheet. Lists of all of the foundations and associations as well as media outlets shut down can also be found at the same link, although on different tabs of the same spreadsheet.