Turkish journalist briefly detained for disseminating ‘misinformation’

Journalist Dinçer Gökçe

Turkish authorities on Wednesday briefly detained journalist Dinçer Gökçe on accusations of spreading misinformation due to a news report claiming that two convicted mob bosses had been released from prison, the T24 news website reported.

Gökçe’s detention was ordered by İstanbul prosecutors, who launched an investigation into him over a news report dated Oct. 26 in which Gökçe had claimed that Turhan Döner and Emirhan Döner, two men convicted of involvement in organized crime, were released from prison.

The prosecutor’s office claims they are still incarcerated.

Gökçe was released under judicial supervision after being questioned by the investigating prosecutor.

Media ombudsman Faruk Bildirici criticized Gökçe’s detention, which he described as part of an intimidation strategy against journalists exposing judicial corruption.

Last year, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) passed controversial legislation that criminalized the dissemination of “false or misleading information.” Since the law’s enactment, the authorities have detained and prosecuted several members of the press as well as social media users based on it.

Turkey is ranked 165th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ latest press freedom index.

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