Trials of 3 freedom press journalists begin

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  • 13:06 1 December 2023
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ANKARA - The trials of freedom press journalists Dicle Müftüoğlu, Sedat Yılmaz and Abdurrahman Gök will be held within the month. Representatives of professional organizations stated that their colleagues were with them and called for solidarity.
The trials of freedom press journalists Dicle Müftüoğlu, Sedat Yılmaz and Abdurrahman Gök, who are arrested for their journalistic activities, will begin next week. The first trial will be the trial of Mezopotamya Agency (MA) editor Abdurrahman Gök.
Gök was detained and arrested in Amed on April 25. Gök's second trial will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court on December 5. Gök is accused of "being a member of a terrorist organization" and "making propaganda for a terrorist organization", due to his professional activities.
The first trial of Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) Co-chair and MA editor Dicle Müftüoğlu, who was arrested on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, as part of the Ankara-based investigation, will be held on December 7 at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court. Müftüoğlu, who is arrested in Sincan Women's Closed Prison, is accused of "being a member of a terrorist organization" and "establishing and managing a terrorist organization"
The first trial of MA editor Sedat Yılmaz, who was arrested together with Müftüoğlu, will be held at Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court on December 14. Similar accusations are being made against Yılmaz due to his professional activities.
Journalist professional organizations made a call for participation in the trial of imprisoned journalists.
Stating that the articles of the law have been written to punish journalism for years, Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) Ankara Branch President Sinan Tartanoğlu said:" We shouted 'journalism is not a crime' against all pressures. This most basic definition is not 'correct' is shown to us in every raid, in custody, in the courthouse corridor and in every courtroom. Police station and prosecutor's office interrogations, indictments and court decisions show us that 'It is designed to impose that 'journalism is a crime and to make us fear our profession'. We will stand by our colleagues who are both journalists and in the grip of the judiciary as TGS, we will say 'journalism is not a crime' at the hearings to be trial in December."
Criticizing the fact that the pressure on Kurdish journalists was not seen in different media organizations, DİSK Basın-İş Ankara Regional Representative Turgut Dedeoğlu said: "The case of Kurdish journalists is not even reported in the mainstream media. This is shameful. It is nothing but double standards against Kurdish journalists. It is necessary to go to the courts where arrested journalists are tried and check whether their cases are conducted in accordance with the procedure and universal standards. The judicial problems would be the first step. Following up on freedom of expression and freedom of the press cases also ensures that judges make judgments in accordance with the procedure. To remain indifferent to the trials of Kurdish journalists and not to support them would mean to accept the accusations against them in advance. Our friends who work as journalists in Turkey are now faced with the same accusations. A profession is now being accused and tried in this country. The Turkish state wants to create journalism under the control of the government."
Reminding the following statements of the imprisoned journalist Gök, Dedeoğlu said: "Journalism means being willing to fight against the government and power groups when necessary, within the framework of the ethical rules of journalism in order to provide the public with accurate information. When the flow of information is blocked in a country, pitch darkness falls on the society and anxiety increases to the utmost. Silence reigns and It continues and decay begins. Only a journalist equipped with conscientious obligation as well as 5W1H can make it possible to tear apart this darkness, disperse the clouds of anxiety and ensure that the slightest voice finds an echo in the silence. This also requires a price. Journalism means being able to afford this price."
Drawing attention to the accusations against journalists, Contemporary Journalists Association (ÇGD) President Kıvanç El said: "The journalists are accused of 'making propaganda for a terrorist organization', 'being a member of a terrorist organization' and 'establishing and managing a terrorist organization', but they were asked about their journalistic activities during the investigation and security stages. The journalists' telephone conversations with their colleagues, their travels abroad, their hotel stays, the news sites they follow and the money movements in their accounts are used as the basis for the accusations. The fact that the news is shown entirely in the evidence annexes is proof of the seriousness of the situation. We always say that journalists are of course not untouchable. People who practice journalism can, indeed, be subject to trial; however, journalists cannot be imprisoned for their journalistic activities or the news they write. In fact, the prosecutor's office and the court will have accepted that this evidence is not 'news', that is, a crime, and those who engage in journalistic activities through secret witnesses have been targeted. We invite all our colleagues to follow all journalist cases. It is essential that the public be informed about these cases."