Two journalists released, four placed under house arrest in Izmir

Two journalists released, four placed under house arrest in Izmir

In Izmir, six journalists were released after four days in detention. However, the judge imposed a condition on Semra Turan and Cihan Başakçıoğlu to sign in at the police station twice a week, while deciding to put electronic tags on Delal Akyüz, Tolga Güney, Melike Aydın, and Fatma Funda Akbulut. These four journalists will be confined to their homes. Veysel Ok, Co-Director of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), commented, "This is a very harsh decision."

As part of an investigation initiated by the Izmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Cihan Başakçıoğlu, a reporter for Gazete Duvar; Semra Turan, Delal Akyüz, and Tolga Güney, reporters for Mezopotamya Agency (MA); Melike Aydın, a reporter for JINNEWS; and Fatma Funda Akbulut, a press worker for the DEM Party, were detained on February 13 and held at the Izmir Police Department's Counter-Terrorism (TEM) Division for three days before being transferred to the Izmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office this morning.

Journalists waited in handcuffs for four hours

The journalists were kept waiting in handcuffs, facing backwards, for about four hours while at the courthouse to give their statements. Lawyers from the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Legal Unit, the Human Rights Association, and the Association for Lawyers for Freedom demanded the removal of the reverse handcuffs from the case prosecutor. Following the prosecutor's instructions, the journalists' handcuffs were reapplied in the normal position.

The journalists, accused of "membership in an organization," were referred to the Peace Criminal Judgeship for arrest without their statements being taken by the prosecutor. Muhammed Ünsal, one of the MLSA lawyers accompanying the journalists during their interrogation, reported that the judge displayed a disrespectful attitude towards the lawyers during Melike Aydın's questioning, telling the lawyers to "get out" while raising his voice. Lawyers from the Izmir Bar Association, who arrived to document the mistreatment, also reported that the judge yelled at them to "leave."

Following the Peace Criminal Judgeship interrogation, the six journalists were released. However, the judgeship decided to impose an electronic tagging measure on Delal Akyüz, Tolga Güney, Melike Aydın, and Fatma Funda Akbulut, while Semra Turan and Cihan Başakçıoğlu were required to sign in at the police station twice a week. The journalists with electronic tags will be confined to their homes and cannot leave the city.

MLSA Co-Director Ok: Electronic tagging is a very harsh decision

Veysel Ok, Co-Director of MLSA, stated that the decision to use electronic tags represents "a very harsh judicial control measure," adding, "There is no evidence in the investigation that constitutes a crime, only news reports made by journalists, interviews for news purposes, and their contacts with news sources, which are not crimes. The nature of the questions asked to the journalists during the interrogation also indicates that the aim of the investigation is not legal. They were asked nothing beyond 'why did you make this report?' and 'why did you meet with this person?'. Journalists, who should not have been detained even for a day, have been detained for days and were released today with a very harsh judicial control measure, electronic tagging. Electronic tagging means confinement to one's home; it means imprisoning a journalist from making news. Essentially, this decision sends a message to all journalists not to produce news. We will appeal against the decision. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our journalist friends."


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.