Evrensel editor Sarı gets 11 months in jail for allegedly ‘insulting’ Turkish President

Çağrı Sarı, the managing editor of leftist daily Evrensel has been given 11 months 20 days prison sentence for allegedly insulting Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to a report by Evrensel daily, Sarı found guilty for insulting the president in a column she publish on January 30, 2017. According to the court decision the following sentence is an insult to Erdoğan: “97,000 people lost their jobs after Recep Tayip Erdoğan’s July 15 military coup.”

This is not the first time an Evresel journalist was accused of insulting Erdoğan. In July 2017, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Fatih Polat, said that he is under investigation over insult charges after in one of his articles he included quotes from British journalist Craig Shaw on Erdoğan family’s alleged corruption.

According to a tweet by Polat, Polat was investigated for a May 28 article in which he reported on a story by Shaw about secret offshore agreements of Erdoğan’s family that were leaked in the Malta files.

In a May 26 story on theblacksea.eu, Shaw claimed the Malta Files had exposed a multi-million dollar oil tanker deal between Erdoğan’s family, Turkish businessman Sıtkı Ayan and an Azeri-Turkish billionaire named Mübariz Mansimov, owner of İstanbul-headquartered shipping conglomerate the Palmali Group with links to the US President Donald Trump.

An investigation into the family enterprise of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, part of the European Investigative Collaborations’ (EIC) #MaltaFiles, reveals that the family currently sits on shipping and related assets of well over 100 million euros.

According to reports by the theblacksea.eu and mediapart.fr websites, Yıldırım’s family enterprise consists of 11 foreign-flagged ships nested in a network of secretive companies in Malta, the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles — specifically now Curaçao, with more suspected in the Marshall Islands and Panama.

At least four of the ships are financed with huge loans from Swiss and Turkish banks, including one part-owned by the Turkish state.

While some of the activities, especially in tax havens, remain opaque, The Black Sea website discovered that Yıldırım’s son, daughter, uncle and nephews have purchased seven properties in the Netherlands, worth over $2,5 million – all of which were paid for in cash. The investigation also uncovered how the Yıldırıms used one of these Dutch companies to anonymously donate 600,000 euros (TL 1,75 million) to the municipality of Pendik, near İstanbul, for a lavish new mosque.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Centre for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 259 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of October 17, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 235 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 133 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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