No less than 48 journalists being tried by Turkey this week

  • Barely a week goes by in Turkey without journalists being arrested or tried for their reporting

ANKARA – No less than 48 journalists, including the National Director of Amnesty International, will be in court this week in three different trials in Turkey, reported Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Most of the journalists, who will be trialed, are already in prison.

The Turkish government has been criticized internationally for suppressing the freedom of expression and violations of Human Rights, after failed military coup.
Nowadays barely a week goes by in Turkey without journalists being arrested or tried for their reporting. Six journalist, who are going on trial today, are facing the lawsuit in connection with the coverage of information obtained in 2016 by a group of far-left hackers from the emails of President Erdoğan’s son-in-law, energy minister Berat Albayrak.

The information they published, were of public interest, involved petroleum trade with Iraqi Kurdistan, the crackdown on the “Occupy Gezi” movement and the government’s progressive subjugation of the Turkish media.

These six journalists were accused of distorting the content of Albayrak’s emails, divulging state secrets and benefiting various terrorist organizations by “creating a negative perception of the authorities”. They were also, accused of being linked to the DHKP-C, a far-left armed group, and to the movement led by FethullaH Gulen. However, investigations revealed one of the six journalists to be of right wing views.

Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, while commenting on the issue said, “The fate of these journalists is yet another example of the absurd and contradictory accusations that many journalists are facing in Turkey”. He added, “Provisional detention is being used in a punitive and arbitrary manner. We again call for the immediate release of all media personnel who have been jailed in connection with their work.”

The crackdown against activists, academics and journalists began after the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Turkish government launched witch hunt against Gulen’s institutes and all those associated. In this regards, Turkish government requested Pakistan to deport the Turkish workers of Pak-Turk school. However, most the workers took protection under UNHCR.