Journalist Yılmaz fined TL 6,000 by a Turkish court for exposing corruption

Journalist İdris Yılmaz seen as he was detained.

Journalist İdris Yılmaz was fined TL 6,000 by a Turkish court for exposing the alleged corruption in Erciş district of Turkey’s eastern province Van. According to the court verdict, journalist Yılmaz will serve 300 days in prison if he could not pay the fine.

A court decided on the case of the pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency (DİHA) reporter İdris Yılmaz who was prosecuted for his coverage of the corruption case in Erciş district of Van province allegedly involving Turkey’s Deputy Minister for the Customs and Trade, Fatih Çiftçi. Journalist Yılmaz was sentenced to pay TL 6,000 by the court as fine over his use of the word ‘thief’ in his news coverage.

Deputy Minister Fatih Çiftçi’s alleged corruption in Erciş, during his term as the mayor of Erciş district were also reported by official state inspectors. Çiftçi had been accused of ‘stealing,’ but was later promoted to the position of Deputy Minister in the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world with one third of arrested journalists across the globe being held in Turkish jails. Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 237 journalists are now in jails, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 215 are arrested pending trial, only 22 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons.

An outstanding detention warrants remain for 103 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.

May 16, 2017


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