In February, three Greek journalists who were covering the February 6th earthquakes were obstructed and had their cameras and equipment destroyed by personnel affiliated with the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The Greek journalists have filed a criminal complaint against those responsible, accusing them of “damage to property”, “misuse of public duty”, violation of “freedom of work and labor”, and “theft.”On April 17th, lawyers from the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) representing the journalists Kyriakos Finas, Victoras Antonopoulos, and Konstantinos Zilos, whose equipment was damaged and who were obstructed while covering the earthquakes, have filed a petition with the Hatay Chief Public Prosecutor's Office regarding the crimes against the journalists. In the complaint petition, it was stated that the journalists were warned not to film by personnel from the Directorate of Religious Affairs and soldiers near the mass gravesite in Narlıca neighborhood of Antakya district on February 16th. It was also mentioned that the journalists were detained at the scene, their equipment was confiscated, and they were only able to retrieve their equipment the next day, which was found to be destroyed.In the petition, the crimes committed by the gendarmerie and police personnel, as well as their superiors, who intervened on the day of the incident, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs employees and their superiors who intervened, were listed.The petition also pointed out that the journalists were taken to the police station by military and police officers, even though there was no official arrest warrant, and that this constitutes the crime of “deprivation of liberty” as stipulated in Article 109 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).The petition also stated that the intervention against the journalists while they were performing their duties constitutes a violation of “freedom of work and labor” as regulated in Articles 117 and 119 of the Turkish Penal Code.Similarly, it was stated in the petition that the confiscation and destruction of the journalists' equipment despite their clear efforts to clarify the situation without resisting the law enforcement during the incident constitutes the crimes of “misuse of public duty (Article 257 of the Turkish Penal Code), “damage to property (Article 151 of the Turkish Penal Code)”, and “theft (Article 141 of the Turkish Penal Code).”Commenting on the criminal complaint lawyer Veysel Ok stated: “We have requested the identification of these individuals from the prosecutor's office. Afterwards, we expect them to be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. This is of great importance both in terms of freedom of expression and in terms of preventing public officials from exceeding their powers in extraordinary situations such as earthquakes or elections.”*This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. The work may be used and redistributed for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution to the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA).
Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.