Chronology of Events
31 July 2012
COURT REFUSES TO RELEASE THREE JOURNALISTS UNDER REFORM PACKAGE
Date: 31 July 2012
An Istanbul court refused on 27 July to release three journalists who have been held for nearly three years as part of the investigation into the alleged clandestine ultranationalist network called Ergenekon.
Turkish journalist wounded in Syria
Date: 31 July 2012
A Turkish photo journalist from the Anatolian news agency has been wounded in clashes in Syria, daily Vatan reported yesterday.
Courts start to free journalists under reform package
Date: 31 July 2012
(RSF/IFEX) - Vedat Kursun, the former editor of the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat
(Free People), has finally been freed after three years and seven months in jail on a charge of propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan People's Party (PKK). His release was ordered by a court in the eastern city of Diyarbakir on 23 July.
“We take note of this release,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The rate at which journalists are being freed is still too slow and should be accelerated by the newly-adopted package of reforms. We call for the conditional release of all journalists held in connection with their work or because of alleged cooperation with banned organizations.”
As a result of the Diyarbakir court's ruling, Kursun was freed from the Type E prison in Giresum where he had been held since 30 January 2009 and where he was serving a sentence of 16 and a half years in jail for articles about Kurdish issues and human rights violations in Kurdistan that were deemed to constitute pro-PKK propaganda.
He was released under Law 6325, adopted on 5 July, under which prosecutions of journalists accused of propaganda on behalf of terrorist organizations may be suspended or abandoned. This law also provides for the release of media personnel accused of belonging to or "collaborating" with outlawed organizations.
Around 90 journalists working for Kurdish, secularist or left-wing opposition media remain in jail pending an upcoming series of hearings. Some of them have already been tried and convicted but most have not.
Ragip Zarakolu's high profile trial
The trial of the famous journalist, publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu began on 13 July and continued until 21 July when, after two specially-invited Turkish TV presenters had finished reading the indictment (2,400 pages) in turn, the court adjourned until after the summer break.
Few journalists have so far been released since Law 6325 took effect. Bedri Adanir, the editor of the Kurdish-language periodical Hawar
(Solution) and Ozan Kilinç, one of his journalists, are hoping that the possibility of their release will be examined in the coming days or weeks.
Local newspaper publisher convicted
A court in the southeastern city of Malatya sentenced local newspaper publisher Haci Bogatekin in absentia on 27 June to a year in prison on charges of relaying PKK propaganda and "praising a crime or a criminal" under article 215 of the criminal code over a January 2008 editorial in his newspaper, Gerger Firat
, a weekly based in the nearby town of Gerger.
Headlined "Feto and Apo," the editorial contrasted the government's failure to combat the threat posed by Fethullah "Feto" Gülen's influential religious community, the target of much criticism by Turkey's secularists, with the government's repeated police and military offensives against the PKK armed separatists led Abdullah "Apo" Öcalan.
In another article shortly after the "Feto and Apo" one, Bogatekin reported that Gerger prosecutor Sadullah Ovacikli ordered him to apologize for insulting Gülen. This resulted in his being immediately detained for 109 days on charges of insult, libel and trying to pervert the course of justice. Bogatekin told Reporters Without Borders he would appeal against his conviction to Turkey's highest court.
Abandoned prosecution, Oda TV case
An Istanbul court ruled in mid-July that the prosecution of Baris Terkoglu, the editor of the Oda TV news website, should be abandoned. He had been held since 14 February 2011 for supposedly collaborating with Ergenekon, an alleged terrorist network made up secularists and ultranationalists.
Terkoglu was accused of endangering intelligence officers, judges and prosecutors in charge of the Ergenekon investigation by publishing photos of them under the headline "These photos will cause a stir." They were shown fasting together during Ramadan. Prosecutors claimed that the photos could expose these senior officials to reprisals by terrorist groups. Terkoglu had been facing a possible three-year jail term under Article 6-1 of the Anti-Terrorism Law 3713.
The court did not wait for the Oda TV hearing scheduled for 19 July to release Terkoglu provisionally. However, three years will have to elapse before the case against him is closed for good, and then only if he has not been arrested in the meantime on similar charges.
The prosecution of Güray Öz, the editor of the republican daily Cumhuriyet, who had helped circulate the photos taken by Terkoglu, has also been suspended. Although not detained, he had been investigated and was being prosecuted.
The other detained Oda TV journalists - Soner Yalçin, Baris Pehlivan and Yalçin Küçük - have not been amnestied but the possibility of their release could be examined at the next hearing, scheduled for mid-September.
Halit Güdenoglu, the editor of the far-left weekly Yürüyüs (March), and four of her journalists who like her had been held since 24 December 2010 – Cihan Gün, Naciye Yavuz, Kaan Ünsal and Musa Kurt – were released on 20 July under Law 6352, which instructs the police and judicial authorities to place suspects under judicial control rather than systematically detain them.
They were released at the behest of an Ankara court which said it had taken account of the “time spent in detention” and the “prosecution evidence.” The court also ordered prosecutors to prepare their indictment and to hand over recordings made during the investigation. The five newly-released journalists have been forbidden to leave the country.
Woman journalist freed after three months
Gülnaz Yildirim Yildiz, the former editor of the far-left periodical Yeni Evrede Mücadele Birligi (Combat in the New Period), was released from Istanbul's Bakirköy prison on 23 July. She had been held since 27 April, when the Court of Cassation upheld her sentence of three years and nine months in prison for propaganda on behalf for the Turkish Communist Party of Labour/ Leninist (TKEP/L).
Journalist freed one month before completing sentence
A court in the southeastern city of Adana released Mehmet Karaaslan, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish news agency Diha, from Birecik prison in the nearby city of Şanlıurfa under Law 6325 on 13 July, a month before he would have completed his sentence of six years and three months for alleged membership of the PKK. He was arrested during a demonstration on 19 April 2007 for allegedly shouting slogans in support of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
30 July 2012
Journalist Ahmet Şık Facing More Charges in Wake of His Release
Date: 30 July 2012
An Istanbul court accepted the indictment against journalist Ahmet Şık in relation to a brief speech he delivered on March 12 immediately upon his exit from Silivri Prison where he had spent a year under arrest in connection with the OdaTV trial.
GUEST BLOG: Imprisoned Turkish Journalist Soner Yalçın
Date: 30 July 2012
SILIVRI, Turkey, July 30, 2012 – YOU ARE MY PARTNER IN CRIME
“Is there anybody out there?”
Every now and then, in my prison cell, where there is a water shortage for 17 hours, the lights are on for 24 hours, and where I am being monitored by two different cameras at all times, I find myself saying out loud these words to myself:
“Is there anybody out there?”
I am detained pending trial for almost two years in Silivri Prison, in Istanbul. I do not know how long the legal proceedings will last and I feel like I am already doomed to be forgotten. All of this is because I have committed a major crime: thinking and being a journalist.
A letter to the world from a jailed Turkish journalist
Date: 30 July 2012
Soner Yalcin, a well-known Turkish journalist, has released a letter written from his Istanbul prison cell where he has been detained in harsh conditions for two years pending trial.
27 July 2012
IPI Urges Turkey to Reject Proposed Changes to Constitutional Media Freedom Protections
Date: 27 July 2012
VIENNA, July 27, 2012 – The International Press Institute (IPI) and its affiliate, the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), today urged a commission responsible for writing a new Constitution for Turkey to reject proposed amendments that would severely weaken current language protecting media freedom.
Bianet reported that Turkey’s Constitutional Reconciliation Commission is set to vote Wednesday on a proposal advanced by the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led government that would, among other effects, carve out numerous exceptions to an existing article on “The Freedom of Press and Publication.”
26 July 2012
Court Decides to Release Chief Editor of Kurdish Daily
Date: 26 July 2012
A court ruled to release Vedat Kurşun, the chief editor of the Kurdish daily Azadiye Welat, in accordance with the Third Judicial Reform Package that came into force earlier this month. Officials jailed some 95 journalists in July, according to the BIA Media Monitoring Report.
"Azadiye Welat" editor released from jail
Date: 26 July 2012
(BIANET/IFEX) - 26 July 2012 - A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir ruled to release Vedat Kursun, the chief editor of the Kurdish daily Azadiye Welat, in accordance with the Third Judicial Reform Package that came into force earlier this month, after he spent three years and seven months behind bars in the Diyarbakir D-Type Closed Prison.
Kursun was entangled in a series of complicated trials on terrorism related charges and last arrested by order of the Diyarbakir Fifth High Criminal Court on Jan. 29, 2009. The court delegation had sentenced him to a jaw-dropping 166 years and six months in prison, but following a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeals, judicial authorities later reduced this sentence down to 10 years and six months.
“They filed suits against all the issues of the newspaper I have been publishing for two years, save for a few,” Kursun had told bianet in a letter. The court decided to release Kursun in compliance with a section in the Third Judicial Package that stipulates the suspension of prison sentences incurred through the offense of “making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization” via the press.
“There are no documents beyond the newspapers' issues and distorted translation records of the court or any other documents of any sort that [could be] taken as [evidence] of a crime,” he said. Vedat Kursun related the details of his long-winded entanglement in the halls of Turkish justice in a letter he had penned to bianet:
“The Diyarbakir Sixth High Criminal Court arrested me [when] I went there to testify on Feb. 5, 2008 and [placed] me in the Diyarbakir D-Type Prison. I was released three months later in consequence of intense public pressure,” Kursun said in his letter.
“The prosecution requested 105 years in prison for me. The court delegation sentenced me to four and a half years on the charge of 'making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization.' This case is still pending in the Supreme Court of Appeals.”
“I was arrested on Jan. 29, 2009 by order of the Diyarbakir Fifth High Criminal Court. The prosecutor requested 525 years in prison for me in this case. The court delegation sentenced me to 166 years and six months in prison on May 13, 2010. The Supreme Court of Appeals overturned this decision about a year later and sent it back to the local court. This time around, I was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison. This case is also pending in the Supreme Court of Appeals.”
“The Diyarbakir Fourth High Criminal Court sentenced me to three years in prison over the same charges on Feb., 2010. This file is also pending in the Supreme Court of Appeals. Moreover, I have also been sentenced to four years in prison by high criminal courts in Istanbul in suits filed against me at various dates. These files are also pending in the Supreme Court of Appeals, as in the other cases,” Kursun explained in his letter.
Azadiye Welat's managing editors Ruken Ergun and Ozan Kilic are still serving time behind bars. A total of 95 journalists landed in jail in the month of July, according to the BIA Media Monitoring Report, and Kursun was also among their ranks.
Courts sentenced 24 people, including six journalists, to a total of 91 years, nine months and 18 days in prison, as well as to pay 40,000 Turkish Liras in fines, on April, May and June, 2012. Some 35 distributors were also serving time in jail during the second quarter of 2012.
End legal proceedings against Azerbaijani lawyer, say rights groups
Date: 26 July 2012
RSF/IFEX) - 26 July 2012 - In an open letter to the president of Turkey, RSF and other rights groups urge the president to immediately and unconditionally end the legal proceedings against Azerbaijani lawyer Intigam Aliyev:
The undersigned members and partners of the Human Rights House Network and the South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders call upon you to ensure that all charges against Azerbaijani human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev are immediately and unconditionally dropped and compensation for the acts of ill-treatment he suffered in Ataturk Airport provided.
On 6 December 2011, on his way back to Baku, Azerbaijan, from Vilnius, Lithuania, where he took part in the Civil Society Parallel Event organised by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Intigam Aliyev was at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, to catch a connecting flight to Baku. After an altercation with a customs officer, Intigam Aliyev's ticket was invalidated by the officer, Huseyin Kunt, and he was detained and kept in a closed room for about four hours. During his detention, he was insulted and intimidated by police officers.
Intigam Aliyev immediately informed the Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) that he was being held in detention at the Ataturk airport. The Helsinki Citizens' Assembly in Istanbul sent lawyers to assist Intigam Aliyev at the airport late that night. The Istanbul Bar Association was also involved in this case. Several international organizations sent appeals and called on the Turkish authorities to release him.
On 7 December 2011 at 12:00, Intigam Aliyev was told that he would be deported from Turkey at 20:30 the same day.
That same day, whilst held in custody, Intigam Aliyev was beaten and injured by immigration officers, and repeatedly threatened not to speak out. He was beaten in a small room by Alaittin Sarıkaya, one of two civilian immigration officers who accompanied Intigam Aliyev, after he requested that his passport be returned to him. Servet Erkaraca, the other immigration officer, witnessed the beating and threatened Aliyev. When Intigam Aliyev asked them to be polite, he was taken to the police office where he was beaten on his head and body by the same officer, Alittin Sarikaya, in the presence of seven other civilian policemen and Servet Erkaraca.
Despite the lawyers' insistence before Aliyev's deportation, he was not provided with any documents or a detailed explanation related to his deportation or his arrest. He was not allowed to meet his lawyers on 7 December 2011. Intigam Aliyev was sent back to Baku on 7 December 2011, where he underwent a medical examination.
On 16 December 2011, Intigam Aliyev's lawyers filed a complaint with the Turkish Prosecutor's Office about the deportation and beatings. They requested the provision of CCTV footage from the airport on 6-7 December 2011. The complaint was rejected due to “lack of evidence.”
In early July 2012, Intigam Aliyev was called to the Nasimi District Court and the Yasamal District Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan, where he was informed about the order of the Bakirkoy Sulh Court and Bakirkoy Asliye Court of the Republic of Turkey, stating that criminal charges were brought against him by the Prosecutor's Office of Bakirkoy for obstructing an officer from performing his duties (art. 265.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Turkey), insult (art. 106.1), and threats (art.125.3a), on the basis of the complaints of immigration officers Servet Erkaraca, and Alaittin Sarikaya, and police officer Huseyin Kunt.
It later became known that the criminal case had been opened against Intigam Aliyev on 6 December 2011, when he was detained at the Istanbul Airport. He and his lawyers in Turkey had not been informed about it and did not receive any written information about these charges until 6 July 2012.
Intigam Aliyev is a well-known human rights lawyer, both in Azerbaijan and internationally. He has brought over 200 cases of his clients, including prominent journalists, to the European Court of Human Rights. As the Head of the Legal Education Society, he is an active and reliable partner for all member and partner NGOs of the Human Rights House Network and the South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders. He is also a member of the Civil Platform of the Eastern Partnership.
As a victim of violence and arbitrary detention by security forces at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Intigam Aliyev should be protected by the State.
We therefore call upon the authorities of the Republic of Turkey to:
Immediately and unconditionally drop all criminal charges against human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev;
Fully compensate Intigam Aliyev for the ill-treatment he suffered at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and for the moral and financial damages;
Undertake an independent investigation into the accusations of ill-treatment of Intigam Aliyev, and bring those responsible to justice.
25 July 2012
Press Freedom Day with 95 Journalists Behind Bars!
Date: 25 July 2012
Turkish courts have sentenced 24 people, including six journalists, to a total of 91 years, nine months and 18 days in prison, as well as to pay 40,000 Turkish Liras in fines during the second quarter of 2012. They now stand among the ranks of some 95 journalists and 35 distributors who spent those three months behind bars.
Press Freedom Awards go to jailed journalists
Date: 25 July 2012
Jailed Turkish journalists Bedri Adanır and Zeynep Kuray are among a collection of reporters that have been awarded with Press Freedom Awards by the Turkish Journalists Association.
20 July 2012
Court Rules to Release Journalists, Citing Judicial Reform Package
Date: 20 July 2012
An Ankara court ruled to release five journalists employed in Yürüyüş magazine on Friday, after they remained under arrest for one and a half years. The court cited in its verdict the amendments that came into force following the ratification of the Third Judicial Reform Package.
Court orders Yuruyus journalists' release
Date: 20 July 2012
(BIANET/IFEX) - 20 July 2012 - The Ankara 11th High Criminal Court ruled to release Yuruyus magazine journalists Cihan Gun, Naciye Yavuz, Kaan Unsal, Musa Kurt and Halit Gudenoglu during the third hearing of the case. The five journalists have spent a year and a half behind bars on terrorism-related charges.
The court cited the classification of the offense in question, the current state of the evidence and the amendments that came into force following the ratification of the Third Judicial Reform Package by Parliament and President Abdullah Gul on July 2 in its verdict.
The court had earlier released Gulsum Yildiz, Nejla Can and Mehmet Ali Ugurlu, all of whom were under arrest pending trial, during the first hearing of the case on Jan. 13. Abdullah Ozgun, Hatice Ruken Kilic and Remzi Ucucu continued serving time behind bars upon the court's orders, however.
Officials first detained the journalists on Jan. 24, 2010 during a raid of the offices of Yuruyus magazine, when law enforcement officials broke the office doors and seized nearly 2,000 books. The indictment prepared by prosecutor Kubilay Tastan and accepted by Chief Justice Dundar Orsdemir implicated the suspects on the charge of “being a member of a terrorist organization” as stipulated in the fifth article of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK.)
The first hearing of the case took place an entire 13 months after the journalists first landed in Sincan F-type Prison. Their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to the prolonged extent of their imprisonment and an order of secrecy over their file that remained in place for 10 months is still awaiting a conclusion.
Prosecutor Mehmet Ozgur demanded the suspects' continued arrest during Friday's hearing, while defendant lawyer Selcuk Kozagacli requested their release, arguing that the courts were passing politically motivated verdicts to enforce the decisions of the government.
Chief Justice Orsdemir ruled for their release, however, and requested the suspects' phone records during the investigation and the communication fact-finding report.
17 July 2012
Former journalist back behind bars for sexual abuse of minor
Date: 17 July 2012
Üzmez, who was previously arrested on charges of repeated sexual abuse of minor B.Ç., was released from jail during the appeals process under way in the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Court Refuses to Release Suspect Lawyers in KCK Trial
Date: 17 July 2012
The defendant lawyers in the second Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial in Istanbul requested a stay of proceedings and the release of the defendants. The court rejected all their demands in the suit where some 46 lawyers are currently facing terrorism related charges.
16 July 2012
Study: YouTube source for news, disaster footage
Date: 16 July 2012
A new study has found that YouTube is emerging as a major platform for news, one to which viewers increasingly turn for eyewitness videos in times of major events and natural disasters.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism on Monday released its examination of 15 months of the most popular news videos on the Google Inc.-owned site.
14 July 2012
Media freedom up to ‘public morals’?
Date: 14 July 2012
Triggering concern over the possible impact on media freedoms, members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have proposed bringing “public morals” back as a criterion in the Constitution article on freedom of speech and thought in the Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Council.
13 July 2012
Turkey's ruling party moves to limit press freedom
Date: 13 July 2012
Members of the ruling Justice and Development Party have proposed a series of changes to the Constitution Conciliation Council that may gravely limit press freedom in Turkey, daily Hürriyet reported.
AKP Government Lands Massive Blow to Press Freedom
Date: 13 July 2012
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has advanced a proposal that would enable authorities to restrict the freedom of press over a wide range of reasons ranging from “national security” to “public morals.”
12 July 2012
Students, Journalist Released From Prison in Wake of Judicial Reform
Date: 12 July 2012
Turkish authorities released journalist Abdülmenaf Düzenci on Monday after he spent 17 months behind bars in connection with terrorism related charges, marking the first such occasion since the ratification of the Third Judicial Reform Package last week. Officials also released 14 students on Tuesday but ruled against the release of Oda TV suspects.
11 July 2012
Experimenting with patriotic journalism
Date: 11 July 2012
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has joined his boss in accusing “those who question the Turkish account of how the Turkish reconnaissance plane was shot by Syria” of being unpatriotic. Today, I am going to try to win the hearts and minds of very important Turks by experimenting with a patriotic column.
9 July 2012
Journalists Reject Friendly Settlement with Turkish Government
Date: 9 July 2012
Journalists Sedat Şenoğlu and Bayram Namaz rejected an offer by Turkish government officials to reach a friendly settlement over their suit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR.) The two journalists have remained under arrest for over six years in connection with the probe into the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP.)
8 July 2012
Court Suspends Proceedings Against Burroughs, Palahniuk Novels
Date: 8 July 2012
An Istanbul court ruled to suspend the proceedings against the translators and publishers of “Snuff” by Chuck Palahniuk and “The Soft Machine” by William Burroughs on Thursday, even though the official expert report vindicated the novels. A court in Istanbul ruled to suspend the proceedings against the translators and publishers of "Snuff" by Chuck Palahniuk
and "The Soft Machine" by William Burroughs
on Thursday, citing the amendments that came into force the same day, following the ratification of the Third Judicial Package this week.
7 July 2012
Date: 7 July 2012
Widow of slain journalist Dink pays Uludere visit Rakel Dink, the widow of assassinated journalist Hrant Dink, has visited Uludere for a joint project bringing together leading artistic figures to establish a monument dedicated to people killed in an air raid by the Turkish army.
6 July 2012
New charges against journalist further curb free expression in Turkey, says OSCE media freedom representative
Date: 6 July 2012
VIENNA, 6 July 2012 - Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, today expressed concern over the new charges brought against Turkish investigative journalist Ahmet Şık, and called on the authorities to protect the right to free expression in the country.
“I am concerned about the new indictment brought against Ahmet Şık, which threatens him with three to seven years’ imprisonment for comments he made upon leaving Silivri prison in March,” said the Representative. “The new charges add to the climate of intimidation that Turkish journalists face when expressing critical or differing views.”
Ahmet Şık was released pending trial on 12 March 2012, after spending one year in pre-trial detention. In the trial that continues in September, he faces up to 15 years in prison for membership of an alleged terrorist conspiracy known as Ergenekon. Upon leaving prison, he accused judges, prosecutors and police officers of a conspiracy that put him, among many others, in prison, and said that justice would be served when those officials were imprisoned. The new charges, collected by 39 judges and prosecutors, accuse him of threatening and insulting public officials.
“I hope that the charges against Ahmet Şık will be dropped soon. Freedom of expression can not stop at speech deemed appropriate by the authorities. In democracies even critical and offending statements must be protected by the law, and public officials must tolerate a higher level of criticism from society,” Mijatović said.
“Authorities should fight speech they deem offensive by encouraging more speech and greater debate of all issues of public importance,” the Representative added. “Punishing critical statements with imprisonment or the threat of incarceration not only runs against OSCE commitments that Turkey has taken upon itself to meet, it also significantly harms pluralistic discourse and can lead to silencing democratic debate in society.”
During her visit to Turkey last December, Mijatović called for the release of all journalists from prison, and in March she publicly welcomed the release, pending trial, of Ahmet Şik and other journalists.
4 July 2012
Stop the repression against the trade unions in Turkey
Date: 4 July 2012
In the last few weeks we have seen an unprecedented clampdown on Turkish trade unionists. Today at least 73 members of the public sector union KESK are in prison, some of them without charges. The authorities also put pressure on members of the journalists' union TGS to make them leave the union.
4 July 2012
Turkish culture and civilization is online
Date: 4 July 2012
A new project known as the “Integrated Information System,” initiated by the Atatürk High Institution of Culture, Language and History, will attempt to present all of Turkey’s intangible and material culture to the world via a searchable Internet platform.
3 July 2012
Released Turkish journalist faces seven more years in jail
Date: 3 July 2012
An Istanbul prosecutor has demanded journalist Ahmet Şık serve between three and seven years in jail for "insulting" and "threatening" state officials during a speech following his release pending trial in the OdaTV case, Doğan news agency has reported. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/released-turkish-journalist-faces-seven-more-years-in-jail-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=24623&NewsCatID=339
2 July 2012
FOUR JOURNALISTS FACING POSSIBLE JAIL TERMS FOR ALLEGED LINKS TO BANNED KURDISH GROUP
Date: 2 July 2012
The trial of well-known publisher and journalist Ragip Zarakolu and three other journalists –Songül Karatagna, Kazim Seker and Hasan Özgünes – for their alleged connections with a banned Kurdish organization begins today inside Silivri high security prison on the northern outskirts of Istanbul. They and 189 other people are going to be tried for alleged membership or links to the outlawed Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), which the authorities regard as the urban wing of the armed separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).