Journalist Emre Soncan, who has been behind bars for 20 months, is facing a new trial for not describing the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization. Soncan, 36, used to work for Turkey’s best-selling Zaman daily, which was closed down by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 due to its links to the Gülen movement.
The trial of Turkish journalist Hidayet Karaca (55) has already taken its place in judicial history because not only has he been persecuted by the Turkish government but also both his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him from jail have been imprisoned.
“It is getting increasingly clear that European institutions are ‘cherry-picking’ the imprisoned journalists in Turkey for whom they want to protest,” wrote journalist Selçuk Gültaşlı, who was Brussels bureau chief for the Turkish Zaman newspaper, on the Brussels-based online news website euobserver.com on Tuesday.
Two years of the seizure of his newspaper and his sacking, the former bureau chief of Zaman newspaper in Brussels, Selçuk Gültasli, visited the EFJ-IFJ headquarter to deliver a special briefing on “the desperate situation of Zaman journalists and media workers in jail” in Turkey.
Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca has been sentenced to 31 years in prison by an Istanbul court on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and for allegedly slandering the al-Qaeda-affiliated group Tahşiyeciler.
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An author, lawyer and journalist who made a career and a name for herself from years of working as a court reporter who chased high-profile legal cases has become a victim of Turkish government’s massive crackdown on freedom of press in Turkey.
Recently a messenger came to Colorado with dark warnings from a troubled land: Abdulhamit Bilici, the former editor-in-chief of Zaman, Turkey’s go-to newspaper before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal crackdown. You don’t often meet people like Abdulhamit Bilici in the United States. You almost can’t believe that someone with his backstory sits before you.
Hanım Büşra Erdal was subjected to a strip search at the police station and humiliated by police officers when she was taken from her prison cell as she was preparing to leave the prison. A strip search is allowed only if circumstances so warrant. “She is a journalist and was taken from the prison. She was already going through routine checks and searches in prison,” her lawyer said.
A number of TV and radio stations that were closed down by the government in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15 due to their links to the faith-based Gülen movement have been sold to the pro-government Turkuvaz Media Group without a tender.
An indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor seeks three consecutive life sentences for 30 individuals who include journalists and executives from the now-closed Zaman daily on coup charges. The daily, which was affiliated with the Gülen movement, was first seized by the Turkish government in March 2016 and the closed down in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.