Court arrests editor-in-chief of Turkey’s neo-nationalist Aydınlık daily

Journalist İlker Yücel, editor-in-chief of neo-nationalist Aydınlık daily.

İlker Yücel, editor-in-chief of Aydınlık daily, which is affiliated with the neo-nationalist Homeland Party (VP) of Doğu Perinçek, was arrested by a court after being detained in Turkey’s Iğdır province on Saturday.

“I have been detained in Iğdır for not publishing a correction from [Energy Minister and son in law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] Berat Albayrak that included an insult to Aydınlık,” said Yücel in a Twitter message.

Mehmet Nuri Aytekin, Yücel’s lawyer, said his client would be released if a TL 100,000 fine is paid.

Meanwhile, Journalist Berkant Gültekin, a managing editor of leftist Turkish daily BirGün, and İbrahim Aydın, the licence owner of the paper, who were sentenced to 21 months in prison with charge of  “insulting the President Erdoğan” according to Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) because of a report criticizing the education system in Turkey, were released by a court decision with judicial control on Saturday. Journalists Gültekin and Aydın were arrested and jailed 6 days ago. It was reported that this was the 120th lawsuit brought against BirGün daily for similar reasons in recent years.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 264 journalists are now in jails as of May 27, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 241 are arrested pending trial, only 23 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 105 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt.

June 3, 2017

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