French journalist Loup Bureau arrested in Şırnak, two local journalists arrested in Gaziantep. Imprisoned journalist Ozan Kaplanoğlu released from prison
French journalist Loup Bureau, detained on July 26 at the Habur Border Gate while entering Turkey from Iraq, was imprisoned pending trial on terrorism charges by a court on August 2.
News reports have said the French journalist was placed in pre-trial detention on charges of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.” He was placed in Şırnak Prison and a confidentiality order was imposed on his case.
BBC Turkish has reported that Bureau visited Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government, two weeks ago and then returned to Turkey, where he was detained under a prosecutorial warrant. An academic thesis he wrote on the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia force in Syria, and some of the photographs he has taken were used as evidence to charge him with helping a terrorist group.
Two journalists imprisoned in Gaziantep
Two of four journalists taken into police custody in Gaziantep province for printing testimony from a businessman who was being investigated in a confidential probe into the July 15 coup attempt of last year were imprisoned pending trial in Gaziantep on August 2.
The case concerned the owner of a construction company, who is currently under arrest as part of an investigation into what the prosecutor calls the “FETÖ/PDY terrorist group” network in Gaziantep. His testimony was published by some local newspapers and news websites, which authorities have said defies a confidentiality order on the businessman’s case. The Gaziantep Chief Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for the four journalists on charges of “violating a confidentiality order.”
Journalists Metin Aybey, Murat Güreş and Furkan Gökşen were detained in the morning of August 2, while Kadir Akkurt, who was out of town in the morning hours, was detained the same day later in the evening. The three journalists were interrogated first by police, then by prosecutors and later referred to a court with prosecutors demanding their imprisonment pending trial. Güreş and Gökşen were sent to jail while Aybey was released under judicial control measures. Akkurt was released by prosecutors after testifying.
Bursa journalist released from prison
Editor of the local Bursa news website bursamuhalif.com Ozan Kaplanoğlu, who has been in prison since May 5 on charges of “conducting terror propaganda” in his social media posts was released on August 2, following his first court appearance in a session heard by the Bursa 10th High Criminal Court.
Kaplanoğlu was initially investigated for “membership in a terrorist organization and terrorist propaganda,” “insulting the president,” and “insulting religious sensibilities,” but later arrested on charges of “terror propaganda.” The journalist, who was imprisoned in a Denizli prison, testified in court via Turkey’s legal teleconferencing system SEGBİS. The court ruled for his release but issued an international travel ban.
The total number of journalists in prison following Kaplanoğlu’s release and the recent three arrests reached 164. The full list can be viewed here.
Cameramen Rojhat Doğru released
Rojhat Doğru, a cameraman with NRT TV who was detained in Diyarbakır province in late July was released on August 2, after nine days in detention.
The cameraman for NRT TV, which broadcasts in the Iraqi Kurdistan, was detained on July 25 in a home raid.
Two more Özgürlükçü Demokrasi distributors detained
Two employees of the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper, Zinet Aşan and Cemile Çiftçi, were detained by police on August 1 while distributing copies of the newspaper.
The two media employees were detained for handing out copies of Özgürlükçü Demorkasi and the Rojeva Medya newspapers, according to news reports.
Their detention comes one week after the imprisonment pending trial of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employees Özkan Erdoğan and Serkan Erdoğan on July 28 and 29 respectively on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization.
Imprisoned journalist given forced haircut
Journalist Cihan Acar, who was imprisoned a year ago on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and participating in the 2016 coup attempt, was forced by prison guards to have his hair cut, despite attempting to grow it.
Acar’s lawyer Mustafa Söğütlü said Acar was forcibly shaved after he was taken to the prison barber. He said four or five warders were brought into the prison barber after he said he does not want his hair cut.
Söğütlü said a forced haircut is an act of maltreatment adding that he will file a complaint against the guards.
Evrensel writer indicted soon after arrest
An indictment accusing Evrensel writer Yusuf Karataş of “leading a terrorist organization” has been presented to a Diyarbakır court, according to news reports from July 31.
Karataş was arrested on July 27 in Diyarbakır province as part of an investigation into the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella platform for a large number of pro-Kurdish civil society organizations. The indictment was completed a day after his arrest, Evrensel said.
The prosecutor demands up to 22.5 years of imprisonment for the Evrensel writer on the above mentioned charges.
Sendika.org blocked for 58th time
The news website Sendika.org has announced that access to its latest working website sendika58.org was blocked yet again by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK). It said it was now online at sendika59.org.
On July 4, Sendika.org said it had asked to be included in the Guinness World Book of Records after being blocked for the 49th time.
Lists of all journalists in prison and the media institutions, associations and foundations closed down under the State of Emergency can be viewed here.