Turkish writer Eliaçık faces 7,5 years in prison over alleged ‘PKK propaganda’

Turkish writer and anti-capitalist Islamic scholar İhsan Eliaçık is currently standing trial on charges of disseminating propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in some of his articles published on an Internet website.

Stating that Eliaçık is facing up to 7.5 years in prison, a report by Bianet said that in the first hearing held at the İstanbul 26th High Criminal Court the prosecutor noted in his indictment that the Prime Ministry Communication Center (BİMER) received a complaint about Eliaçık’s article.

The prosecutor claims in the indictment that the article was an attempt to create a perception against legitimate operations launched by state security forces against “terrorists.” The prosecutor has also stated that “when the defendant’s articles are considered from this perspective, they are a call for terrorist violence, a call to armed resistance and insurgency.”

According to the report Eliaçık, who did not attend the hearing, tweeted “What is the purpose of the prosecutor who demands that I serve 10 years in prison for promoting terrorism and the deprivation of my right to serve as president, a deputy, a civil servant, a party administrator, etc.?

“The prosecutor flew off the handle at the fourth hearing of the trial held yesterday; he said, ‘May he serve 10 years in prison, let his punishment be increased, don’t let him elect or be elected, found a party, a foundation or an association, and let him starve and live in misery.”

Meanwhile, university student B.Ç. (20) was detained in Muğla province on charges of “propagandizing for an illegal organization” and “insulting state officials” on social media. Living in the Marmaris district of Muğla province, B.Ç.’s home was raided by an Marmaris Police Department counterterrorism team on Tuesday morning. B.Ç was referred to court by police and was arrested.

The Turkish Interior Ministry stated on Monday that between the days of March 19 and March 26, 783 social media accounts have been investigated and that legal procedures have been initiated against 259 of them.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 245 journalists and media workers were in jail as of March 26, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 189 were under arrest pending trial while only 56 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 140 journalists who are living 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 about 200 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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