Number of journalists in prison rises to 148 following arrest of Yurt columnist Hüsnü Mahalli

On Dec. 15, Hüsnü Mahalli, a columnist with the Yurt newspaper was arrested on charges of “insulting the president” and “insulting public officials serving on a board on the basis of their duty.”

Mahalli’s arrest brings the number of journalists or press workers in Turkish prisons to 148.

The journalist was detained on Dec. 12, 2016 on the same charges for which he was arrested under orders from İstanbul Prosecutor Can Tuncay in his home in Istanbul. He was then taken to a hospital, where he spent the rest of his detention. He was put under arrest by a decision of the 9th Criminal Judicature of Peace and sent to prison. Mahalli is reportedly an MS sufferer, a condition which necessitates continued medical attention.

Journalist Oğuz Usluer detained in coup probe

Oğuz Usluer, a former news coordinator for Habertürk TV, was detained on Dec. 10 on accusations of being affiliated with the Fethullah Gülen community; a religious movement accused by the Turkish administration of being behind the failed coup of July 15. Usluer’s family members, who contacted P24 via email, have expressed concern for his well being, stating that the journalist is currently barred from seeing his lawyer and members of his family.

Doğan Holding executive arrest

On Dec. 16, the İstanbul 9th Criminal Judicature of Peace ruled to arrest Barbaros Muratoğlu, the head of the Ankara representative office for Doğan Holding; a large conglomerate active in various lines of business as well as in the media. He was detained on Dec. 1. Doğan Holding, which also owns the Hürriyet daily, said the operation was not directed at the corporation, but rather at their executive as an individual.

Journalist tried for report on abuse of minor

Felat Bozarslan, a Doğan News Agency (DHA) reporter, was in court on Dec. 15 over a news report regarding a court decision, which reduced the sentence given to a sex offender who had abused a minor due to his “reputation.” Bozarslan denied having committed any crime in his court statement. The trial was adjourned until April 10, 2017.