Turkey: Journalists in State of Emergency


Özgür Gündem shut down with 23 of its journalists detained in operation targeting the newspaper

On Aug. 16, four individuals including former Zaman columnist Ali Ünal were arrested in the investigation into the July 15 coup attempt and at least 23 journalists were detained in operations outside the coup probe.

On the 27th day of Turkey’s of State of Emergency declaration, police operations mainly targeted the Kurdish press. The Özgür Gündem newspaper was shut down temporarily on the grounds that it spreads “propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization.” Shortly after the announcement of the newspaper’s closure by authorities, police raided its office in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district, sealing off the premises. During the police raid, the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Zana Kaya, journalists Zana Kaya, Günay Aksoy, Kemal Bozkurt, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Önder Elaldı, Ender Önder, Sinan Balık, Fırat Yeşilçınar, İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Paksoy (DİHA news agency) , Zeki Erden, Elif Aydoğmuş, Bilir Kaya, Ersin Çaksu, Mesut Kaynar (DİHA), Sevdiye Gürbüz, Amine Demirkıran, Baryram Balcı, Burcu Özkaya, Yılmaz Bozkurt (member of the press office of the Istanbu Medical Chamber), Gülfem Karataş (İMC), Gökhan Çetin (İMC) and Hüseyin Gündüz (Doğu Publishing House) were detained. According to a tweet by an account that belongs to Özgür Gündem, another person, whose name was not included in the list of those detained, was also taken into custody during the closure operation.

As part of the operations targeting Özgür Gündem, the homes of the newspaper’s former Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin, columnist Filiz Koçali and the owner of the newspaper’s rights Kemal Sancılı were also raided. The three journalists couldn’t be found in the locations searched.

Distributors of Özgür Gündem were also targeted by the operations. On July 16, Hakan Ergün, an Adana based distributor for the newspaper was arrested and the home of the newspaper’s Van distributor Yılmaz Kumli was raided by police.


Developments in coup probe

Ali Ünal, a former Zaman columnist, his brother Mustafa Ünal as well as two individuals named Günay Aydın and Ahmet Gökalp – all of whom were detained on Aug. 15 – were put under arrest on Aug. 16 as part of the investigation into the attempted coup of July 15. Ünal and the others are facing charges of “membership in an armed terrorist organization,” “aiding a terrorist organization,” and “spreading propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization.”

In a related development, a court rejected an objection filed against the July 31 arrest ruling for former Zaman columnists Şahin Alpay, Lale Kemal, Ali Bulaç and Nuriye Akman on the grounds that “no new evidence has emerged” in the investigation to secure their release.

On Aug. 15, Hürriyet reporter Arda Akın was arrested in the coup investigation.

According to a report by Hürriyet, its reporter Akın was detained while checking in with a police station under an earlier court ruling that had released him on probation. Akın, who was taken to testify to prosecutors, was asked questions about his Twitter messages and a message he had written to a police chief who conducted the investigation into match-rigging allegations in Turkish soccer in 2011. Akın, who was referred to a court by prosecutors, was arrested on charges of “knowingly aiding a criminal organization.”

Earlier, there had been reports of at least one arrest and one deportation involving foreign journalists. In the latest development regarding foreign journalists in State of Emergency, Spanish journalist and student Beatriz Yubero, deported from the country as part of the coup probe, announced that she would challenge a decision by Ankara University to terminate her enrollment in court.

On Aug. 14, a poet named Rıfat Sayar was detained over suspected links with Fethullah Gülen.

Censorship, Twitter banning accounts and blocked websites

In late July, hundreds of newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and radio stations were shut down as per a decree having the force of law. As part of the decree, Ankara Gölbaşı Criminal Judicature of Peace had, on July 28, blocked access to 102 websites.

Further reports of censorship and gag orders have continued to emerge. On Aug. 14, the Izmir 7th Criminal Judicature of Peace issued a ban on publishing testimony from suspects or secret witnesses in the coup investigation. The ban on publishing information regarding suspect and witness testimony also applies to social media posts.

In another recent development, Özgür Gündem Newspaper’s official Twitter account, @ozgurgundemweb1 has been withheld in Turkey by Twitter. The micro-blogging website has failed to explain why it has chosen to yield to pressure from Turkish government in banning journalist and newspaper accounts.

Detentions outside coup probe

State of Emergency rules seem to increasingly and extensively affect critical journalists unrelated to the coup investigation; particularly members of the Kurdish media. In addition to the 23 detentions during the police operation targeting Özgür Gündem’s staff on Aug. 16, several other Kurdish journalists were taken into custody in the past few days:

On Aug. 13, Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporters Metin Bekiroğlu and Engin Eren were detained by police. On Aug. 14, Fatma Edemen, a reporter for the Kurdish news agency ETHA, was detained in the capital. Edemen, who has not been allowed to see her lawyer, has been on a hunger strike since Aug. 14. Another detainee, Hünkar Genç, a member of Turkey’s Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) who was taken into custody on Aug. 14, has also been reported to be on a hunger strike.

Last known legal status of journalists for whom detention warrants have been issued as part of post-coup probe

Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Samanyolu TV, Left the country according to AA
Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, In custody
Abdullah Kılıç, Meydan Gazetesi  columnist, Under arrest
Abdullah Özyurt, local Adana journalist, Under arrest
Adil Gülçek, Former Cihan Medya Director
Ahmet Dönmez, Former Zaman reporter, Left the country according to AA
Ahmet Memiş, Haberdar, In custody
Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Vice President of Cihan Media Executive Board, Under arrest
Ahmet Turan Alkan, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum), Under arrest
Alaattin Güner, Former Cihan Medya Director, Under arrest
Ali Akbulut, owner of Zaman’s rights, formerly
Ali Akkuş, Former Zaman General Publications Editor, Under arrest
Ali Bulaç ,Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Arda Akın, Hürriyet reporter, Released on probation
Arzu Yıldız, Haberdar Ankara Bureau Chief
Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, Yarına Bakış, Under arrest
Aytekin Gezici, Under arrest
Ayşenur Parıldak, former Zaman correspondent, Under arrest
Bayram Kaya, Zaman, Yeni Hayat reporter, Under arrest
Behçet Akyar
Bertan Golal, TRT İstanbul, In custody
Bilal Şahin, Özgür Düşünce, Left the country according to AA
Bülent Ceyhan, Özgür Düşünce reporter, Left the country according to AA
Bülent Keneş, Former Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief
Bülent Korucu, Former Zaman columnist
Bülent Mumay, Former Hürriyet Digital Publications Coordinator, Released by court order
Bünyamin Köseli, Former Aksiyon reporter, Under arrest
Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Under arrest
Cevheri Güven, Nokta Magazine Editor-in-Chief
Cihan Acar, Former Bugün reporter, Under arrest
Cuma Kaya, Under arrest
Cuma Ulus, Former Publications Coordinator for Millet daily, Under arrest
Emre Koçali, Haberdar, In custody
Emre Soncan, Former Zaman Defense Reporter, Under arrest
Ercan Gün, Fox TV News Editor, Released on probation, arrested in another investigation
Erkan Akkuş, Former Bugün TV Anchor
Erkan Büyük, Haberdar, In custody
Ertuğrul Erbaş, Former Nokta Magazine Editor
Faruk Akkan, Cihan Ajansı, Under arrest
Faruk Kardıç
Fatih Akalan, Samanyolu Haber Tv commentator, Left the country according to AA
Fatih Yağmur, Former Radikal reporter, Left the country according to AA
Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman Visual Director (formerly), Under arrest
Habip Güler, Former Zaman reporter, Under arrest
Hakan Bülent Yardımcı, In custody
Hakan Taşdelen, Under arrest
Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum), Under arrest
Hamit Bilici, Former Zaman Editor-in-Chief
Hamit Çiçek
Hanım Büşra Erdal, Former Zaman reporter and  columnist, Under arrest
Haşim Söylemez, Former Aksiyon Magazine columnist, Under arrest
Hilmi Yavuz, Former Zaman  columnist, Released due to poor health, will testify at a later time
Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter, Under arrest
Hüseyin Döğme
Hüseyin Turan, Partner in Feza Group (owners of Zaman), Under arrest
İbrahim Balta, Former Zaman Business Editor, Under arrest
İhsan Duran Dağı, Former Zaman  columnist, Released by prosecutor without court referral
İsi Siyi, Haberdar, In custody
Kamil Maman, Former Bugün reporter, Left the country according to AA
Kerim Gün, Former Zaman Editor
Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Levent Kenez, Meydan Gazetesi Editor-in-Chief
Lokman Erdoğan, Çorum Manşet (local newspaper), In custody
Mahmut Hazar, Cihan News Agency, Left the country according to AA
Mehmet Akif Afşar
Mehmet Gündem, Former Milliyet columnist, Released by court order
Mehmet Kamış, Former Zaman columnist
Mehmet Özdemir, Under arrest
Melih Kılıç, Zaman Media Group Sales Department
Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu
Metin Yıkar, Samanyolu Haber
Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Former Zaman News Manager
Murat Avcıoğlu, Under arrest
Mustafa Erkan Acar, Cihan News Agency, Under arrest
Mustafa Ünal, Under arrest
Mümtaz’er Türköne, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Mürsel Genç, Former Cihan reporter
Nevzat Güner
Nuri Durna, TRT (Ezurum), Under arrest
Nuriye Ural (Akman), Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Oktay Vızvız,
Olgun Batur, Local Antalya journalist, In custody
Osman Nuri Arslan, Partner in finance company FIA, Released on probation
Osman Nuri Öztürk, Released on probation
Ömer Karakaş
Özcan Keser,  TRT İstanbul, In custody
Rıfat Söylemez, Adana Günaydın (local newspaper), In custody
Sait Sefa, Haberdar
Sedat Yetişkin
Selahattin Sevi, Former Zaman Photograpy Coordinator, Left the country according to AA
Sevgi Akarçeşme, Former Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief
Seyid Kılıç, Former TRT reporter, Under arrest
Süleyman Sargın
Şahin Alpay, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest
Şenol Kahraman
Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV, Under arrest
Taner Talaş, Adana Yerel, In custody
Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya, In custody
Turan Görüryılmaz, Can Erzincan TV anchor, Left the country according to AA
Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Karşı Gazete reporter, Left the country according to AA
Ufuk Şanlı, Former Vatan columnist, Under arrest
Veysel Ayhan
Yakup Çetin, Former Zaman reporter, Under arrest
Yakup Sağlam, Former Samanyolu reporter, Released on probation
Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum), Under arrest
Yüksel Durgut
Yüksel Evsen, Adana local journalist, In custody
Zafer Özsoy, Under arrest
Zeki Önal, Not taken into custody due to advanced age and illness; his home was searched

Journalists detained under State of Emergency outside coup probe

Selami Aslan – DİHA, Released
Mehmet Sıddık Damar – DİHA, Released
Esra Aydın – JİNHA, Released
Geylan Arslan – JİNHA, Released
Nizamettin Yılmaz – Azadiya Welat, In custody
İdris Yılmaz – DİHA, In custody
Selman Keleş – DİHA, In custody

Hasan Akbaş – Evrensel, Released

Fırat Topal – Evrensel, Released

Serpil Berk – Evrensel, Released

Sertaç Kayar – Freelance journalist, Released

Engin Eren – DİHA, In custody

Metin Bekiroğlu –  DİHA, In custody

Fatma Edemen – ETHA, In custody

Zana Kaya – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Günay Aksoy – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Kemal Bozkurt – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Reyhan Hacıoğlu – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Önder Elaldı – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Ender Önder – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Sinan Balık – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Fırat Yeşilçınar – Özgür Gündem, In custody

İnan Kızılkaya – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Özgür Paksoy – DİHA muhabiri, In custody

Zeki Erden – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Elif Aydoğmuş – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Bilir Kaya – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Ersin Çaksu – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Mesut Kaynar – DİHA, In custody

Sevdiye Gürbüz – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Amine Demirkıran – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Bayram Balcı – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Burcu Özkaya – Özgür Gündem, In custody

Yılmaz Bozkurt – İstanbul Tabip Odası Basın Bürosu, In custody 

Gülfem Karataş – İMC TV, In custody

Gökhan Çetin – İMC TV, In custody

Hüseyin Gündüz – Doğu Publishing House, In custody


Journalists known to have been arrested during State of Emergency outside coup probe

Zeynel Abidin Bulut – Azadiya Welat, Under arrest
Zehra Doğan – JİNHA, Under arrest 
Hülya Karakaya – Özgür Halk, Under arrest
Mehmet Arslan – DİHA, Under arrest
Lindsey Snell – Freelance journalist, Under arrest
Şermin Soydan – DİHA (arrested before the declaration of the State of Emergency), Under arrest

List of media outlets shut down under State of Emergency decrees

TV Stations: Barış TV, Bugün TV, Can Erzincan TV, Dünya TV, Hira TV, Irmak TV, Kanal 124, Kanaltürk, MC TV, Mehtap TV, Merkür TV, Samanyolu Haber, Samanyolu TV, SRT TV, Tuna Shopping TV, Yumurcak TV.
News Agencies: Cihan Haber Ajansı, Muhabir Haber Ajansı and  SEM Haber Ajansı
Newspapers: Adana Haber, Adana Medya, Akdeniz Türk, Şuhut’un Sesi, Kurtuluş, Lider, İscehisar, Durum, Türkeli, Antalya, Yerel Bakış, Nazar, Batman, Batman Postası, Batman Doğuş, Bingöl Olay, İrade, İskenderun Olay, Ekonomi, Ege’de Son Söz, Demokrat Gebze, Kocaeli Manşet, Bizim Kocaeli, Haber Kütahya, Gediz, Zafer, Hisar, Turgutlu Havadis, Milas Feza, Türkiye’de Yeni Yıldız, Hakikat, Urfa Haber Ajansı, Ajans 11, Yeni Emek, Banaz Postası, Son Nokta, Merkür Haber, Millet, Bugün, Meydan, Özgür Düşünce, Taraf, Yarına Bakış, Yeni Hayat, Zaman, Today’s Zaman, Özgür Gündem.
Magazines: Akademik Araştırmalar, Aksiyon, Asya Pasifik, Bisiklet Çocuk, Diyalog, Avrasya, Ekolife, Ekoloji, Fountain, Gonca, Gül Yaprağı, Nokta, Sızıntı, Yağmur, Yeni Ümit, Zirve.
Radio stations: Aksaray Mavi, Aktüel, Berfin, Burç, Cihan, Dünya, Esra, Haber Radyo Ege, Herkül, Jest, Kanaltürk, Radyo 59, Radyo Aile Rehberi, Radyo Bamteli, Radyo Cihan, Radyo Fıkıh, Radyo Küre, Radyo Mehtap, Radyo Nur, Radyo Şemşik, Samanyolu Haber, Umut, Yağmur.
Publishing houses: Altınburç, Burak Basın Yayın Dağıtım, Define, Dolunay Eğitim Yayın Dağıtım, Giresun Basın Yayın Dağıtım, Gonca, Gülyurdu, GYV, Işık Akademi, Işık Özel Eğitim, İklim Basın Yayın Pazarlama, Kaydırak, Kaynak, Kervan Basın Yayıncılık, Kuşak, Muştu, Nil, Rehber, Sürat Basım Yayın Reklamcılık Eğitim Araçları, Sütun, Şahdamar, Ufuk Basın Yayın Haber Ajans Pazarlama, Ufuk, Waşanxaneya Nil, Yay Basın Dağıtım, Yeni Akademi, Yitik Hazine, Zambak Basın Yayın Eğitim Turizm

*Glossary of legal terms used in this text

Detain / Place in custody: To hold in police custody for police interrogation first, and later for testimony to a prosecutor. Might lead to a court appearance depending on the action taken by the prosecutor. 
Arrest: To put into prison indefinitely – by court order – pending trial. 
Released on probation: Released with an international flight ban issued. Usually entails checking in regularly with a designated police station. 

These lists have been compiled by P24 editors from open news sources and will be updated regularly. Journalists who want to report developments about themselves or their colleagues can contact us at punto24info@gmail.com



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