December 25, 2023

25.12.2023 – Journalist Ali Kişmir Faces Trial for Criticizing Northern Cyprus Politics

In a concerning development, Ali Kişmir, President of the Cyprus Turkish Journalists’ Union (Basın Emekçileri Sendikas – Basın-Sen –, is set to stand trial on 28 December 2023, for a social media article from 2020. He can be punished up to ten years in prison for “insulting and mocking the security forces”

Kişmir was temporary released on 6 October 2023 on bail of 30,000 TRY.

In his article he criticized the politics of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a Turkish controlled area in northeastern part of Cyprus – a self declared state internationally recognized only by Turkey.

Kişmir faced in the past attacks and censorship, and was labeled as an “enemy of Türkiye / Turkey ” and “traitor.” On 23 June 2023, he was forced to resign from TV20 ( for reacting against the censorship of a critical article on Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

In 2021 the Turkish authorities banned Kişmir’s entry to Turkey under the “Foreigners and International Protection Law”. Kişmir was a supporter of the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı during the Presidental election campaign 2021. Akıncı lost presidential elections in 2021.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns this pressure and court case against Kişmir, urging the authorities in TRNC to reconsider the charges against Ali Kişmir, respecting the principles of free speech and journalism integrity.

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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