36 more journalists arrested in Turkey, totaling 99 journalists in prison

December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

[Compiled from Birgun, ANF and BIA news agencies. Previously the total number of journalists in prison was cited as 107, but it was changed to 99 after a press release by Turkey’s Union of Journalists (TGS)] December 24, 2011

The AKP government continues to imprison the rights of the people.

Following the detentions within the scope of the so-called KCK operations on 20 December, 36 journalists have been remanded in custody by a vacation court for allegedly being “member of an illegal organization”. While being brought to court journalists shouted ¨This kingdom will come to an end.¨

After bearing testimony to the prosecutor at Istanbul Court for over 15 hours, 42 journalists were on 23 December evening referred to the vacation court with a demand of arrest. While six of them were released on 24 December morning on conditions of trial without arrest, 36 journalists were sent to prison once again despite the lack of any confirmed criminal evidence.

Among those released, Mustafa Ozer, photographer for AFP, said ¨I wish friends inside can go out as soon as possible.¨ DIHA Van reporter and Bianet correspondent Evrim Kepenek said ¨I never cried while I was inside. Now I think of my friends who were not released¨. Kepenek added that she was asked about her phone conversations with Sirri Sureyya Onder (BDP Istanbul MP). In one of the talks Onder asks Kepenek if she will come to somewhere for making news, and Kepenek replies ¨if only you had informed me earlier.¨ She was shown a photo and asked if she was the woman in the photo with eyeglasses, which she answer no and she did not use any eyeglasses. She was also shown a schema and asked about her place in the schema. The schema is the same one published by pro-AKP Zaman daily, which is owned by Fethullah Gulen group. There are many anonymous witnesses in the case Kepenek added, while the witness against her was named Bahar.

One of the DIHA correspondents were asked why her/his phone number was saved in the phone of Cihan Kirmizigul, who is an arrested university student for the last 21months for he had been wearing keffiyeh.

Following the judgment where journalists were interrogated because of the news they made, Eylem Sürmeli, Güneş Ünsal, Enis Yalçın, Şeref Sümeli, Sevinç Tuncelli and Arzu Demir were released on conditions of trial without arrest.

The court defended the decision of arrest for 36 journalists by the reason of “strong evidence suspect” and “probability of obfuscating the evidences”.

The court decision was protested by the people who waited in front of the court till the end of the interrogation at early morning hours to support the members and laborers of free press. Tension rose in front of the court when journalists were being taken to police vehicles from the court. The mass staged a sit-in act and blocked the way of vehicles for some time.

Arrested woman journalists will reportedly be taken to Bakırköy Prison for Women and Juveniles, others to the Metris Prison in Istanbul.

All the people who have been detained or arrested within the scope of the KCK operation are accused of being KCK members or executives. As of December 24, 2011; 99 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey due to the news they have been making.

Names of the 36 journalists arrested are as follows:

Ramazan Pekgöz (DIHA editor, Diyarbakir)

Mazlum Özdemir (DIHA correspondent-Diyarbakir)

Fatma Koçak (DIHA Editor in chief – Istanbul)

Kenan Kırkaya (DIHA Ankara representative-Ankara)

Sadık Topaloğlu (DIHA correspondent-Urfa)

Semiha Alankuş (DIHA editor-Diyarbakir)

Çağdaş Kaplan (DIHA correspondent-Istanbul)

Ömer Çelik (DIHA correspondent-Istanbul)

Zuhal Tekiner (DIHA publisher-Istanbul)

Pervin Yerlikaya (DIHA-Istanbul)

Nilgün Yıldız (DIHA correspondent Mardin)

Zeynep Kuray (Birgün Newspaper correspondent)

Nahide Ermiş (member of Ozgur Halk and Demokratik Modernite editorial board)

Ömer Çiftçi (Demokratik Modernite publisher)

Davut Uçar (Etik Agency Manager)

Hüseyin Deniz (ex-worker for Ozgur Gundem)

İsmail Yıldız (ex-worker for DIHA)

Dilek Demirel (ex-worker for Ozgur Gundem)

Sibel Güler (ex-worker for Ozgur Gundem)

Ertuş Bozkurt (worker, Firat Distribution)

Çağdaş Ulus (Vatan Daily, correspondent)

Nevin Erdemir (worker, Ozgur Gundem)

Nurettin Fırat (writer, Ozgur Gundem)

Ayşe Oyman (Ozgur Gundem)

Yüksel Genç (writer, Ozgur Gundem)

Oktay Candemir (ex-worker, DIHA)

Ziya Çiçekçi (publisher & managing editor of Ozgur Gundem)

Haydar Tekin (ex-worker for Firat Distribution)

Safiye Torman (Demokratik Modernite Journal, worker, from Van)

Selahattin Aslan (Demokratik Modernite Journal, worker)

İrfan Bilgiç (ex-worker, Firat Distribution)

Ali Fidan (worker, Firat distribution, Istanbul)

M. Emin Yıldırım (Chief Editor of Azadiya Welat)

Çiğdem Aslan

Cihan Albay

Saffet Orman

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