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Turkey’s government arranged a flourish of trumpets to announce that it was implementing a state of emergency to pursue those responsible for the failed July 15 coup, but – unsurprisingly – it was again the press that bore the brunt of the government’s attention. After first closing media organs accused of being close to the Gülen movement, the government subsequently set its sights on the Kurdish media.

Police raided Özgür Gündem live on air, while also staging break-and-enters on the houses of the members of its publishing board. Aslı Erdoğan and Necmiye Alpay, two members of the publishing board, were arrested after merely going to provide testimony.

For journalists in Turkey, the month was most marked by the beginning of a witch hunt against anyone deemed to be an opponent of the government. A number of people singularly devoid of any connection to the coup attempt or the Gülen movement have been detained as part of the investigation or have become the subject of a warrant for their apprehension.

 

The true objective of such practices is nothing but an attempt to destroy the reputations of dissidents – something witnessed many times before in Turkish history, most recently in the Ergenekon trials.

 

31 August

  • Özgür Gündem Publishing Board member, linguist and writer Necmiye Alpay is arrested on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” after providing testimony to the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
  • Four journalists, including Union of Turkish Journalists Adana Chair SalimBüyükkaya, as well as one newspaper employee, are detained as part of an operation against the Gülen movement in Adana.

30 August

  • The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office orders the detention of 35 people, including several journalists, as part of operations against the Fethullah Gülen movement. Hurriyet.com.tr Editor Dinçer Gökçe was detained in the operations, while police also conducted a search at journalist Yavuz Baydar’s home.
  • TÜRKSAT ceases broadcasting Özgür Gün TV without providing any prior notification. The channel, whose national broadcasts were halted by RTÜK, the state media watchdog, will continue with local broadcasts.
  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) Editor Mehmet Ali Ertaş is detained during a demonstration organized by the Diyarbakır-based Association of Free Journalists to protest raids on Azadiya Welat and the closure of Özgür Gün TV.
  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) correspondent Metin Yoksu is beaten and detained by police while covering the resistance of municipal workers in Istanbul.

29 August

  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) correspondent Engin Eren is released on probation after 17 days in detention despite a prosecutor’s demand for his arrest.

28 August

  • Police stage a raid on Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat's Diyarbakır office, detaining 27 of the paper's employees.

27 August

  • Turkey's media watchdog, RTÜK, closes 29 TV channels for broadcasting without a license and issues a warning notice to Özgür Gün TV and Van TV for conducting "terrorist propaganda."

26 August

  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Erdem Mühirci and Azadiya Welat employee Ali Aşikar, who were detained in Van, are arrested.
  • Masked special forces police officers stage an operation on an office that is used by both Dicle News Agency (DİHA) and Azadiya Welat. Police confiscated four computers in the office, as well as a newspaper archive, after gaining entry by breaking down the door.
  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) correspondent Sebahattin Koyuncu is released along with six others after being detained earlier in the week in Silopi.

25 August

  • Former Özgür Gündem Co-Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin is released by a court despite a prosecutor requesting her arrest. 

24 August

  • The Information Technology and Communications Institute (BTK) blocks access to Dicle News Agency (DİHA) for the 44th time and Jin News Agency (JINHA) for the ninth time.

23 August

  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Sabahattin Koyuncu is detained in Silopi along with several others.
  • Fox TV News Editor Ercan Gün is arrested on charges of involvement with the Gülen movement as part of an investigation into the Hrant Dink murder case.
  • Evrensel journalist Cemil Uğur and volunteer reporter Halil Polat are beaten and detained along with two others while covering a sit-in in Mersin to demand the release of Abdullah Öcalan.
  • Aryen Haber is closed for a seventh time by the Information Technology and Communications Institute, which has assumed the responsibilities of the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB).

22 August

  • Van TV Hakkari correspondent Serkan Kaya is detained while returning from covering a story.
  • Özgür Gündem News Editors Bilir (Zana) Kaya and İnan Kızılkaya are arrested.
  • Journalist Tuğba Tekerek is released after being detained while taking photographs.
  • The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office orders the confiscation of Atılım's special edition featuring a special supplement from Özgür Gündem.

21 August

  • Journalist Tuğba Tekerek is detained while taking photos for a story. Tekerek was allegedly detained for insulting the president.

20 August

  • Turkey’s media watchdog, RTÜK, imposes a temporary press blackout on news of a suspected ISIL attack on a wedding in Gaziantep.
  • The Gaziantep İslahiye Criminal Court of Peace orders a press blackout on news coverage of the alleged sexual assault of a nine-month-old baby in the province’s Çercili neighborhood.
  • Authorities extend the detention time for Özgür Gündem News Editors Zana Kaya and İnan Kızılkaya by an extra five days.

 19 August

  • Özgür Gündem writer and Publishing Board member Aslı Erdoğan is arrested on charges of “terrorist propaganda,” “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “provoking the public.” Erdoğan was reportedly arrested due to her membership on the Publishing Board and her columns in the paper.
  • BirGün reporter Hüseyin Şimşek receives a number of death threats after revealing a sexual assault scandal in Gaziantep’s Islahiye district.
  • Newspaper distributor Faruk Özcan is detained in the eastern province of Muş for distributing Özgür Gündem and Azadiya Welat.

18 August

  • Some 22 journalists detained during a 16 August raid on Özgür Gündem are released.
  • Detained Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Fatma Edemen is released.
  • imc TV reporter Gülfem Karataş, who was detained in a raid against Özgür Gündem, notes that she was the targeted with profanity and insults and threatened with sexual assulat during her time in police detention.
  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) correspondent Meltem Oktay is released, four months after she was arrested.
  • Turkey’s media watchdog, RTÜK, issues a temporary broadcast ban on news related to an attack on the Elazığ Police Station.
  • Police detain 12 people for distributing daily Özgür Gündem in Eskişehir.
  • Nineteen of 43 people detained in a post-coup investigation at state broadcaster TRT are arrested.

17 August

  • Detained Özgür Gündem editorial board member and writer Aslı Erdoğan is taken back to the detention room after being taken to hospital for a medical issue.
  • Detained Özgür Gündem journalist Bayram Balcı, who underwent an operation two weeks ago, is taken back to the detention room after suddenly falling ill.
  • Denge TV reporter Yusuf İba is detained in Ağrı’s Doğubeyazıt district.

16 Agust

  • Özgür Gündem newspaper is "temporarily" closed by court order for conducting "terrorist propaganda."
  • Özgür Gündem journalists Günay Aksoy, Kemal Bozkurt, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Önder Elaldı, Ender Öndeş, Sinan Balık, Davut Uçar, Fırat Yeşilçınar, İnan Kızılkaya, Zeki Erden, Elif Aydoğmuş, Bilir Kaya, Ersin Çaksu, Sevdiye Ergürbüz, Amine Demirkıran, Bayram Balcı and Burcu Özkaya, as well as Dicle News Agency (DİHA) Özgür Paksoy and Mesut Kaynar and imc TV journalists Gülfem Karataş and camera operator Gökhan Çetin, are detained in a police raid against the newspaper. In addition, Doğu Publishing House employee Hüseyin Gündüz is detained while coming to the newspaper in solidarity along with one other person. Some of the journalists were beaten while being detained.
  • Özgür Gündem distributor Hakan Ergün is arrested in Adana.
  • Municipal teams seal the offices of Özgür Gündem in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district following a police raid on the building.
  • Police stage raids on the house of Özgür Gündem writer Filiz Koçali, publisher Kemal Sancılı, Van distributor Yılmaz Kumli, former Co-Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin and writer and human rights activist Ragıp Zarakolu.
  • Özgür Gündem writer and editorial board member Aslı Erdoğan is detained following a raid on her house.
  • Turkey’s media watchdog, RTÜK, closes Mefküre TV, which broadcasts from France, on allegations that it is tied to the Gülen movement.

15 August

  • A press blackout is imposed following a car bomb attack on Diyarbakır-Mardin road against a traffic police station in the district of Çınar.
  • Journalist Ali Ünal is detained in Uşak’s Eşme district in connection to recent raids against former employees and writers at Zaman newspaper.
  • Hürriyet reporter Arda Akın is arrested on charges of “knowingly and voluntarily aiding” the Gülen movement as part of an investigation launched after the failed 15 July coup. Akın had previously been released on probation in the case on 29 July.

14 August

  • Etkin News Agency (ETHA) correspondent Fatma Edemen is detained by police in a house raid in Ankara.
  • Lice Gazetesi reporter Metin Bekiroğlu is detained in a house raid by police in Diyarbakır’s Lice district.
  • Murat Öztürk, a distributor for the Özgür Halk journal, is detained by police in Van’s İpekyolu district.
  • Can Dündar, who was sentenced to five years in jail for a story on Syria-bound trucks full of weapons, resigns from his post as editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet.

13 August

  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) Siirt correspondent Engin Eren is detained by police while exiting the agency’s bureau. Eren, who was unable to learn the reason for his detention, was taken to the Siirt Police Department.
  • The Association of Free Journalists (ÖGC) begins a “Volunteer Reporter” campaign in solidarity with the media outlets of 36 press workers who have recently been detained, as well as other arrested journalists.
  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) and Lice Gazetesi reporter Metin Bekiroğlu is detained in a house raid by police in Diyarbakır’s Lice district.

12 August

  • Rengin Ergül, a lawyer for detained Evrensel journalists Hasan Akbaş, Fırat Topal and Serpil Berk and freelance journalist Sertaç Kayar, says the quartet bear signs of torture and that police pressured them to work as informants.
  • Doğan News Agency (DHA) Buenos Aires correspondent Canan Kaya is beaten on the street by unknown perpetrators as she covers the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.

11 August

  • Journalists Bertan Golal and Özcan Keser from state broadcaster TRT’s Istanbul News Desk are detained as part of investigations into the failed 15 July coup.
  • Some 42 people, including a news announcer and inspectors, are detained at TRT Ankara as part of investigations into the failed 15 July coup.
  • Former Zaman correspondent Ayşenur Parıldak is arrested as part of an investigation launched in the wake of the 15 July coup attempt.
  • Kemal Gülen, a former news anchor of the now-closed Samanyolu TV and the nephew of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, is detained.

10 August

  • Azadiya Welat newspaper employee Hakan Ergün is detained following a morning raid on his home in Adana.
  • Evrensel correspondents Hasan Akbaş, Fırat Topal and Serpil Berk, as well as freelance journalist Sertaç Kayar, are detained on a prosecutor’s orders after they attempted to report on an attack in Diyarbakır.
  • The Hakkari 2nd Court of Serious Crimes refuses to release Dicle News Agency (DİHA) journalist Şermin Soydan, who is facing life in prison for "divulging classified documents in the news." The case has been postponed until 30 September.
  • Employees at Manşet Kocaeli, a newspaper that was closed in the wake of the failed 15 July coup attempt following a state of emergency decree, are prevented from removing their belongings and acquiring employment termination documents after police sealed the door to the newspaper. Because the employees have been unable to conduct termination procedures, they are unable to benefit from unemployment insurance.

9 August

  • The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) blocks access within Turkey to the official Twitter accounts of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Özgür Gündem newspaper and Fırat News Agency (ANF).
  • Demokratik Modernite journal editor Haydar Ergül is detained following a raid on the house in which he was staying in Diyarbakır.

8 August

  • The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) lifts an access ban that was imposed on www.sputniknews.com on 14 April.
  • Ali Topuz’s e-newspaper, Gazete Duvar, begins operations.
  • The passports of former Özgür Gündem co-Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin and acting News Editor İnan Kızılkaya are canceled.

7 August

  • The Jin News Agency (JINHA) is closed for the eighth time by the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), including the third time in the last week. JINHA is continuing its operations at jinnews.pw.
  • BirGün photojournalist Recep Yılmaz is denied accreditation to cover a large unity rally in Yenikapı Square due to the identity of his employer.
  • Özgür Gündem’s “Editor-in-Chief on Call” solidarity campaign comes to an end. Some 100 journalists participated in the campaign, which started on 3 May World Press Freedom Day. Probes were opened into at least 50 of the participating journalists, 16 of whom will now stand trial. Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) Chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Reporters sans frontières (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu and journalist/writer Ahmet Nesin were arrested before being released. Proceedings were dropped against six of the journalists.
  • A prosecutor demands life in prison for Dicle News Agency (DİHA) journalist Şermin Soydan, who was arrested on 14 May, for her story, “Documents from the ‘secret’ operation in Gever.”
  • Police seize Diken columnist Hayko Bağdat’s passport as he returns to Turkey from Greece.

6 August

  • Spanish journalist Beatriz Yubero, who was conducting research at Ankara University, is detained and deported over tweets regarding President Erdoğan. Yubero was reportedly not permitted to inform the Spanish Embassy about her situation during her time in custody.
  • Eda Yaren Arik, who was detained in Istanbul’s Gülsuyu neighborhood while distributing the Yürüyüş journal, is arrested.

5 August

  • Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporters Selman Keleş and İdris Yılmaz are detained while covering a story in Yüksekova’s Orman neighborhood.
  • Cumhuriyet, BirGün, Evrensel and Özgür Gündem are added to the list of “prohibited publications” while access to the Halk TV channel is cut at Silivri Prison following the institution of a state of emergency after the 15 July coup attempt.

4 August

  • The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) blocks access to Özgür Gündem’s website for the third time since 26 July. The newspaper is continuing its operations at www.ozgurgundem11.com.
  • The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) closes Jin News Agency’s (JİNHA) website for a seventh time. JİNHA has begun broadcasting at jinhaber.pw.
  • Access to Özgür Gün TV’s is blocked for a second time by the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB).

3 August

  • Radyo Cihan’s sole employee, Bayram Parlak, is arrested on charges of “making PKK propaganda.” Radyo Cihan, which largely broadcast in Kurdish in Konya’s Cihanbeyli district, was closed on 28 July on the grounds that it was broadcasting propaganda for the Gülen movement. Parlak had previously been sentenced to six years and three months in jail for membership in a terrorist organization in 2007 when he acted as Özgür Gündem’s Mersin representative.
  • A publication ban is imposed on news related to a money laundering investigation surrounding the president’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, in Italy. The Istanbul 9th Criminal Court of Peace has accordingly blocked Gazeteport and Diken’s coverage on the issue.

2 August

  • Özgür Halk News Editor Hülya Karakaya, who was detained at Diyarbakır Airport, is arrested by the Karlıova Criminal Court of Peace after providing testimony to a prosecutor.
  • Dicle News Agency’s (DİHA) reporter in Erzurum’s Karayazı district, Mehmet Arslan, is arrested at a court after first being detained.
  • Journalists Ercan Gün and İbrahim Balta, who were detained as part of the investigation into the 15 July coup attempt, are dispatched to the court with a demand for their arrest. Gün was released, but Balta was arrested. Fox TV’s Ercan Gün, who was released earlier in the day as part of the probe into the 15 July coup attempt, is detained once more in connection with the Hrant Dink murder case.
  • The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) blocks access to Özgür Gündem’s website for the second since 26 July.
  • Akis newspaper is effectively prevented from publishing after its printing press and all of the paper’s owner’s possessions were seized as part of an operation in the wake of the failed 15 July coup even though the newspaper – unlike its sister papers Haber Kütahya and Gediz – was not forcibly closed as part of the state of emergency.
  • Hazal Ölmez, an employee of Evrensel newspaper, is subjected to an assault by two women wearing the chador and another man who shouted, “Why haven’t you covered your head? You’re also a putschist.”
  • Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem distributor Nizamettin Yılmaz is detained in Mardin’s Derik district for “distributing an illegal newspaper.” Police subsequently staged a raid on Yılmaz’s house, detaining his wife, Yasemin Yılmaz. The woman was released after questioning.

1 August

  • The Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) blocks access to the Jin News Agency (JİNHA) for a sixth time. JİNHA is continuing its operations at jinha.win.
  • Nushaber newspaper reporter Zeki Karakuş is detained in Nusaybin.