Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Writers and Journalists jailed and Tortured: the list goes on

Some Items I've simply copied from INFO-TURK about writers and journalists recently jailed for their work. A couple were in French and I've roughly translated them. THIS IS JUST FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL.

Lawyer of imprisoned reporter Abdurrahman Gök to file complaint for torture and maltreatment

Servet Özen, the lawyer for Dicle News Agency (DIHA) reporter Abdurrahman Gök, says that an objection to his arrest has been rejected. He says that he will file a complaint for torture and maltreatment of his client after seeing the medical file.

Gök was taken into custody while covering the Newroz celebrations in Siirt, southeastern Turkey. On 25 March 2009, he was taken to the Siirt Criminal Court, which ordered his arrest for spreading PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) propaganda. He was later taken to a Siirt prison.

Another reporter from DIHA, Celal Kalpak, who was at the Newroz celebrations in Siirt, told BIANET what he witnessed: "When Gök was taken into custody, we were at the exit of the celebration area. The police harassed him and then took him into custody. When I objected, a police chief said, 'Your friend has thrown stones at the police.' I told him that that was not credible, that Gök was just covering the event as a reporter, and that the detention was arbitrary."

Kalpak said that there were different accusations leveled at Gök all the time. "First they said that he had thrown stones at the police. When that was not credible, they said that he had manipulated the crowd; finally, they said that he was taken into custody for terrorist propaganda because he had copied down the slogans shouted and written on placards and because he had been linked to Roj TV."

Özen has argued that Gök suffered torture and mistreatment when he was taken into custody. His medical report from the Siirt State Hospital is currently with the prosecution. His lawyer has announced that as soon as he is able to examine them, he will file a criminal complaint against those responsible.

DIHA has also called for the release of its reporters Ali Bulus, Mehmet Karaaslan, Faysal Tunç and Behdin Tunç, who are all in prison for alleged connections to the PKK. It is not yet clear whether the arrests were related to their journalistic activities. (BIANET/IFEX, April 14, 2009)


İrfan Karaca the author of the book “Ape Musa’s Little Generals” where he tells the story of children who distribute “Özgür Gündem” newspaper, has been given 1 year and 3 months prison sentence for “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”.

The book was published by Berçem Publishing House in March last year. Ankara High Criminal Court Num.11 condemned Karaca. İrfan Karaca said they would appeal against it and added “It is completely unjust. The book tells the stories of children who sell Özgür Gündem newspaper in Diyarbakır in 1990s. How could it be propaganda for a terrorist organisation? This judgement proved that freedom of expression is still under threat in Turkey.” (antenna-tr.org, April 27, 2009)


Gaziantep Public Prosecution Office wrote an indictment against Yasin Yetişgen the responsible editor of local “Çoban Ateşi” newspaper over an article “Mum don’t send me to army” written by Berkant Coşkun and published on 8 November 2007. Yetişgen is charged with “alienating the people from military service and insulting the memory of Ataturk”.

Yetişgen is charged over the parts of the article which reads:”If today’s Kurdish movement is called a terrorist movement then Mustafa Kemal’s movement would not be immune from the same definition. The only difference is that Mustafa Kemal was not arrested.”

The court issued on 15 April an arrest order for Yetisgen since he did not turn up for the previous hearings.

The next hearing is on 16 July 2009 at 09:00.
(antenna-tr.org, April 27, 2009)


The Turkish writer Nedim Gürsel will be held on 5 May before an Istanbul court for "denegrating the religious values of the people" in his novel "Daughters of Allah," the author said in an interview Saturday with the AFP.

"You reproach me for having denigrated the religious values of the population, under Article 216 of Turkish Penal Code, this charge is punishable by six months to one year in prison," said Gürsel, present this week - author of "Close Encounters of the book and wine" of Balma, a suburb of Toulouse.

"This is a novel, people tend to forget," said Gürsel, "and what is negative about the prophet is expressed by its enemies."

For the novelist, director of research at CNRS on Turkish literature, "we must have the freedom to take a critical look at religion, and my position is clear: I respect the faith and believers."

"More worrying" according to him, the Directorate of Religious Affairs, an administrative agency under the authority of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "has resulted in a report while the court did not ask" .

"The management of religious affairs should not decide on a work of art, is not within its competence," said Mr. Gürsel who divides his time between France and Turkey.

According to the author of "Daughters of Allah", published in March 2008 in Turkey and a French translation released in October at Threshold, "Mr. Erdogan said recently at the delivery of a literary prize that Turkey 's is a country that saw its writers, or the trial removes any credibility to his speech. "

Mr. Gürsel considers that "this case falls very badly because everyone thought that Turkey had made progress on freedom of expression", has also added the author of "Turkey is a new idea in Europe" published this week in France by Editions Empreinte time.

An ardent defender of the entry of Turkey into the European Union, Mr. Gürsel has not said he was "worried" about the outcome of this trial because he has "confidence in the justice of (his) country that is Independent


Prosecution to Gün TV

Ahmet Birsin the general coordinator of a local TV station in Diyarbakır region has been arrested and kept in custody in Diyarbakır Anti-Terror Branch on suspicion of "PKK membership".

It has been reported that Diyarbakır Public Prosecution service has been secretly working to uncover "PKK’s Turkey Coordination team made up of 8 members" for over a year. Prosecution office has been following the bank transactions and communications of the suspects.

51 people brought to Diyarbakır

Police raided and searched Gün TV offices in the early morning hours of 14 April 2009.

Simultaneous operations have been run in Diyarbakır, İstanbul, Ankara, Batman, Mardin, Aydın, Adana, Elazığ, Gaziantep, Şırnak and Şanlıurfa. Diyarbakır Governor said that 51 people had been arrested and brought to Diyarbakır.

Bilen: we cannot report any news

TV channel’s news editor Adnan Bilen said that because of the confiscated material they cannot broadcast news. Bilen said that the prosecutor told their lawyer who wanted the material back "So what? You do not broadcast one day ".

Employee arrested in

Günlük newspaper reported that Hüseyin Diken, Democratic Society Party’s Bursa chairman was released but an employee of “Özgür Halk” periodical, Erhan Bayrak was put on remand on the charge of “propaganda for an illegal organisation". (antenna-tr.org, April 15, 2009)


Kurdish newspaper Azadiya Welat has been shut down for a month.
Altilim Newspaper shut down for one month.


Democratic Society Party’s Van city chairman Abdurrahman Doğar who was arrested following Newruz celebrations on 22 March 2008 during which two people were killed. Van Public Prosecutor Selçuk Kocaman asked the court to condemn Doğar for “membership PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organisation, inciting crime as part of the activities of a terrorist organisation, resisting public official, damaging property, inciting to injuring people”. Doğar has been asked to be imprisoned for 200 years. The next hearing will be on 22 May 2009 at 09:45 am. The prosecution will present its case.

o Vatan reporter Kemal Göktaş and Milliyet reporter Gükçer Tahincioğlu are charged with “publishing classified information and exposing the judge on duty to terrorist organisations as a target” over publishing a court ruling by Ankara High Criminal Court Num.11 allowing police and intelligence agency MIT to listen and read all phone, Internet and fax communications in Turkey. The two journalists are asked to be imprisoned for between 2 and 6 years. The journalists were acquitted on 31 March 2009.

o Ahmet Karayay made a press statement in Ankara’s Kızılay Street declaring conscientious objection and said '...There is no need for military institutions on earth since there has been no threats from other planets. Therefore what are the soldiers protecting us from...? Turkish Armed Forces has been making use of human resource of Turkish nation since it was established although the country has not been involved in any wars for a long time. .. As long as there are people who want to do military service it should not be imposed on people like me who do not want to do military service...” Karayay was charged with “alienating the people from military service”. Karayay was acquitted on 1 April 2009. (http://www.antenna-tr.org/dunya/first_page_en.asp)

1 comment:

Serhat Daran said...

Glad to see you back in business heval!