104 journalists are still being detained in Turkish prisons after the Istanbul 16th High Criminal Court released journalists Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık and Odat TV writers Coşkun Musluk and Sait Çakır pending trial on 12 March.
104 journalists and 35 newspaper distributors/media employees were initially arrested under allegations of "membership in an armed illegal organization". Later on they were charged with "committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization without being a member of the organization" and/or "willingly and knowingly assisting an illegal organization and being part of its hierarchic structure". Some journalists are being tried under allegations of founding an armed or unarmed illegal organization, related instigation and administration or membership of that organization. A number of journalists have been convicted.
Journalists were labelled as "terrorists" by additional charges stemming from following up certain news and incidents, writing a book, government-critical journalism or working for a Kurdish media outlet.
Only six journalists are facing trial directly on the grounds of the news, articles and books they wrote.
The journalists are being detained in the scope of the following trials: 67 journalists are being prosecuted in the contest of the trials related to the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), the armed outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Kurdish Workers Party - Democratic Patriotic Youth (DYG); five in the scope of the clandestine Ergenekon organization charged with the attempt to topple the government; six in the context of the Oda TV trial; eight in relation with the Party and Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of the Turkish People (DHKP-C); five in the scope of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) and four with regard to the Revolutionary Headquarters trial.
25 of the detained journalists are convicted, 29 are facing on-going trials and 50 journalists are still waiting for their indictments to be announced.
Out of a total of 104 journalists, 30 are current or former employees of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), 14 of the Azadiya Welat newspaper, 12 of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, two of the Evrensel daily, three of the Özgür Halk magazine and two of the Democratic Modernity magazine.
Which journalists are allegedly connected to which trials?
Six journalists are facing allegations that are directly related to their news and writings: Azadiya Welat newspaper editors-in-chief Vedat Kurşun, Ruken Ergün and Ozan Kılınç; DİHA Batman representative Erdoğan Altan; Diyarbakır representative Kadri Kaya and Aram Publishing concessionaire and Hawar newspaper executive Bedir Adanır.
Ergenekon/Defendants: Hikmet Çiçek (Ulusal Kanal ('National Channel') general publications director), Mehmet Deniz Yıldırım (Aydınlık Magazine general publications director), Mehmet Haberal (Kanal B concessionaire), Mustafa Balbay (Cumhuriyet newspaper columnist), Tuncay Özkan (owner of Kanal Biz TV).
OdaTV/Defendants: Barış Pehlivan (OdaTV internet site general publications director), Barış Terkoğlu (OdaTV internet site news director), Müyesser Uğur Yıldız (OdaTV writer), Soner Yalçın (OdaTV concessionaire), Prof Yalçın Küçük (OdaTV writer).
OdaTV/waiting for indictment: Turan Özlü (Ulusal Kanal general publications director)
Revolutionary Headquarters/Convicts: Mehmet Yeşiltepe (Devrimci Hareket ('Revolutionary Movement') writer - 8 years, 9 months)
Revolutionary Headquarters /Defendants: Hakan Soytemiz (Red/Enternasyonel writer) and Osman Baha Okar (Bilim ve Gelecek ('Science and Future') editor).
Revolutionary Headquarters /without indictment: Mehmet Güneş (Türkiye Gerçeği ('Truth of Turkey') magazine writer).
KCK - PKK - DYG/Convicts: Abdülcabbar Karabeğ (Azadiya Welat Mersin representative - 7 years, 1 months), Ali Konar (Azadiya Welat Elazığ representative - 7 years, 6 months), Bayram Parlak (Gündem Mersin representative - 6 years, 3 months), Faysal Tunç (DİHA Şırnak reporter - 12 years, 6 months), Ferhat Çiftçi (Azadiya Welat Gaziantep representative - 22 years, 8 months), Hamit Dılbahar (Azadiya Welat writer), Kenan Karavil (Radyo Dünya Director - 6 years, 3 months), Mehmet Karaaslan (DİHA Mersin reporter - 6 years, 3 months), M. Ferid Demirel (DİHA reporter - 6 years, 3 months), Murat İlhan (Azadiya Welat Diyarbakır reporter - 6 years, 3 months), Nuri Yeşil (Azadiya Welat Tunceli representative - 1 year, 7 months, Ömer Faruk Çalışkan (Özgür Halk magazine editor-in-chief - 6 years, 3 months), Rohat Ekmekçi (GÜN TV radio presenter - 4 years, 2 months), Sevcan Atak (Özgür Halk magazine editor - 7 years, 6 months), Seyithan Akyüz (Azadiya Welat Adana representative - 10 years, 6 months), Şahabettin Demir (DİHA Van reporter - 4 years).
KCK - PKK - DYG/Defendants: Ahmet Akyol (DİHA Adana reporter), Ahmet Birsin (Gün TV general manager), Hamdiye Çiftçi (DİHA Hakkâri reporter), Sebahattin Sürmeli (Özgür Halk magazine editor).
KCK - PKK - DYG/without indictment: Abdullah Çetin (DİHA Siirt reporter), Abdülmenaf Düzenci (Yüksekova Gündem News site concessionaire), Aydın Yıldız (DİHA Mersin reporter), Ayşe Oyman (Özgür Gündem editor), Aziz Tekin (Azadiya Welat Mardin representative), Cengiz Kapmaz (Özgür Gündem writer), Çağdaş Kaplan (DİHA reporter), Çağdaş Ulus (Vatan newspaper reporter), Davut Uçar (Etik News Agency manager), Dilek Demirel (Özgür Gündem former editor), Ertuş Bozkurt (Fırat Distribution employee, reporter), Fatma Koçak (DİHA editor-in-chief), Feyyaz Deniz (DİHA Ankara reporter), Gülsen Aslan DİHA reporter), Hasan Özgüneş (Azadiya Welat writer), Hüseyin Deniz (Evrensel reporter), İsmail Yıldız (DİHA former employee, Dersim newspaper editor-in-chief), Kazım Şeker (Özgür Gündem editor), Kenan Kırkaya (DİHA Ankara representative), Mazlum Özdemir (DİHA Diyarbakır reporter), Mazlum Sezer (DİHA former reporter), Mehmet Emin Yıldırım (Azadiya Welat general publications director), Murat Aydın (DİHA reporter), Murat Çiftçi (DİHA reporter), Müge Tuzcu (former Evrensel reporter), Nahide Ermiş (Demokratik Modernite publication board member), Nevin Erdemir (Özgür Gündem editor), Nilgün Yıldız (DİHA Mardin reporter), Nurettin Fırat (Özgür Gündem writer), Oktay Candemir (DİHA former reporter), Ömer Çelik (DİHA reporter), Ömer Çiftçi (Demokratik Modernite concessionaire), Özlem Ağuş (DİHA reporter), Ragıp Zarakolu (owner of Belge Publishing, Özgür Gündem writer), Ramazan Pekgöz (DİHA Diyarbakır editor), Sadık Topaloğlu (DİHA reporter), Semiha Alankuş (DİHA Diyarbakır editor), Sibel Güler (Özgür Gündem former editor), Sinan Aygül (DİHA Bitlis reporter), Songül Karatagna (Özgür Gündem writer), Sultan Şaman (Heviya Jine editor), Tayyip Temel (Azadiya Welat former general publications director), Turabi Kişin (Özgür Gündem former editor), Yüksel Genç (Özgür Gündem writer), Zeynep Kuray (Birgün reporter), Ziya Çiçekçi (Özgür Gündem concessionaire, editor-in-chief), Zuhal Tekiner (DİHA concessionaire).
DHKP-C/Convict: Mustafa Gök (Emek ve Adalet ('Labour and Justice') magazine Ankara representative).
DHKP-C/Defendants: Bahar Kurt (Tavır ('Attitude') magazine owner), Cihan Gün (Yürüyüş magazine reporter), Fatih Özgür Aydın (Mühendislik, Mimarlık ve Planlamada + İvme Dergisi ('Engineeering, Architecture and Planning+Acceleration Journal') editor-in-chief), Halit Güdenoğlu (Kamu Emekçileri ('Public Employees') magazine owner), Kaan Ünsal (Yürüyüş magazine reporter), Musa Kurt (Kamu Emekçileri magazine editor-in-chief), Naciye Yavuz (Yürüyüş magazine reporter).
MLKP/Convicts: Erdal Süsem (Eylül Hapishane ('September Prison') magazine editor - life sentence) and Hatice Duman (Atılım Magazine owner and editor-in-chief - life sentence).
MLKP/Defendants: Sedat Şenoğlu (Atılım newspaper publications co-ordinator), Bayram Namaz (Atılım magazine writer), Füsun Erdoğan (Özgür Radyo general publications co-ordinator).
Odak ('Focus') magazine editor-in-chief Erol Zavar was handed down a life sentence in the scope of the 'Direniş Hareketi' (Resistance Movement') trial. Mezitli FM general publications director Mikdat Algül stands trial on the grounds of his alleged affiliation to an illegal organization. The name of the organization has not been mentioned though. Özgür Gündem editor Serdar Engin received a prison sentence of 9 months in September 2011 in the context of the "Esteemed Öcalan" trial based on Article 215 of the Turkish Criminal Law (praising crime and a criminal).
35 distributors behind bars
16 out of a total of 35 newspaper distributors are from the Azadiya Welat newspaper, eleven from the Fırat Distribution Company, one from DİHA, four from Özgür Halk magazine and three from the Demokratik Modernite magazine. Nine of the distributors have been convicted, nine are still on trial and 13 of them are still waiting for their indictments to be disclosed. The situation of four of the detained distributors it is not clear for the time being.
This is the related list of distributors and media employees:
KCK-PKK-DYG/Convicts: Ali Bilen (Özgür Halk distributor - years, 8 months), Ali Çat (Fırat Distribution - Azadiya Welat Mersin distributor - 7 years, 1 month), Cengiz Doğan (Fırat Distribution - Azadiya Welat Nusaybin employee - 3 years, 7 months), Dilşah Ercan (Azadiya Welat Mersin distributor - 8 years, 9 months), Dindare Temirhan (Özgür Halk magazine Mardin employee - 2 years, 6 months), İhsan Sinmiş (Azadiya Welat distributor - 6 years, 3 months), Mikail Çağrıcı (Azadiya Welat Adana distributor, life sentence), Selim Kahraman (Azadiya Welat Adana distributor - 14 years, 3 months), Sibel Mustafaoğlu (Fırat Distribution Gaziantep employee - 21 years, 6 months).
KCK-PKK-DYG/Defendants: Ali Ertuğrul (Azadiya Welat Şırnak distributor), Hakan İraz (Günlük distributor), Nazdar Ecevit (Azadiya Welat Şırnak distributor), Ramazan Dinç (Özgür Halk Diyarbakır employee), Salman Akpınar (Fırat Distribution employee), Savaş Aslan (Azadiya Welat Adana distributor), Serdar Ay (Fırat Distribution Diyarbakır distributor), Ufuk Demir (Fırat Distribution Iğdır former employee), Zahide Parim (Fırat Distribution Iğdır former employee).
KCK-PKK-DYG/without indictment: Abdülbesir Yapıcı (Azadiya Welat employee), Cihat Ablay (Demokratik Modernite employee), Çiğdem Aslan (Fırat Distribution distributor), Haydar Tekin (Fırat Distribution former employee), İrfan Bilgiç (Fırat Distribution former employee), Mahmut Tutal (Azadiya Welat employee), Pervin Yerlikaya (DİHA Istanbul employee), Saffet Orman (Demokratik Modernite Van employee), Selahattin Aslan (Demokratik Modernite employee), Şafak Çelen (Azadiya Welat employee), Şahin Baydağı (Azadiya Welat Kızıltepe former distributor) Şeyhmus Fidan (Fırat Distribution Istanbul employee), Veysi Arancak (Fırat Distribution Istanbul employee). (EG/HK)