December 8, 2023

08.12.2023 – Former Zaman Newspaper Deputy Editor-in-Chief Arrested on Allegations of Conspiracy

On 22 November 2023, the former deputy editor-in-chief of the closed Zaman newspaper, Mehmet Kamış, was arrested in Izmir, Türkiye / Turkey, in a coordinated operation by the police and the National Intelligence Organization. Kamış is accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and was subsequently moved to Istanbul, Türkiye / Turkey where he appeared before the 26th High Criminal Court. The court, citing a potential risk of flight, ordered his pretrial detention in connection with a ‘coup’ case initiated in 2017. The closure of Zaman newspaper in 2016, along with around 100 other media outlets due to alleged ties to the Fethullah Gülen movement, led to Kamış’s arrest. His trial is set for 13 February 2024. The case against Kamış has been separated from the larger ‘coup’ case involving 17 journalists, including Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, and Nazlı Ilıcak.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns these actions, emphasizing the importance of protecting journalists’ rights and freedom of the press.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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