List of arrested journalists in Turkey
231 journalists have been arrested after July 15, 2016 alone.  According to Sweden-based advocacy group Stockholm Center for Freedom that tracks cases of prosecutions of Turkish journalists, in the year 2018, 122 journalists received a jail sentence.
List of arrested journalists
This article needs to be updated.December 2014)(
The following is a non-exhaustive list of arrested journalists in Turkey: A new updated and searchable list of jailed journalists is compiled by Stockholm Center for Freedom which stated that 165 journalists were arrested, 75 convicted and 148 wanted as of 30 December 2018.
|Name||Media||Position||Date arrested||Status||Background info|
|Abdulcebbar Karabeğ||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Mersin||2010-09-26||Released on 2012-11-02 ||detained at the closed prison of Hatay|
|Abdullah Çetin||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Kurtalan||2011-12-16||Released on 2014-06-25||detained at the D-Type prison in Diyarbakır|
|Abdullah Civan||Today`s Zaman||2016-9-2||Convicted on 2017-5-26||convicted to 10 years and 5 months, detained in Izmir|
|Abdullah Kılıç||Meydan||correspondent||2016-07-25||Convicted and jailed pending trial||Sentenced to 6 years and 3 months on the 8th March 2018. Imprisoned in the Silivri prison, İstanbul |
|Ahmet Altan||Taraf||journalist||2016-09-10||Convicted/Jailed Pending Appeal||Accused of spreading subliminal messages announcing the military coup. Sentenced to life in prison with solitary confinement in 2018.|
|Ahmet Akyol||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Adana||2011-05-09||Released on 2012-11-06||Was detained at the M-Type prison in Ceyhan, Adana|
|Ahmet Birsin||Gün TV||general coordinator||2009-04-14||Convicted||Sentenced to 21 years fro administrating a terrorist organization in March 2017|
|Ali Konar||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Elazig||2010-05-27||Convicted||Sentenced to 7 years and 6 months on the 22nd October 2015|
|Ali Ünal||Yeni Hayat||2016-08-16||Convicted on the 2018-11-14, pending trial||Sentenced to 19 years and 6 months, detained in the F Type prison Buca Kırıklar|
|Arif Çelebi||Released on 2014-05-08 ||detained during 7 years and 8 months|
|Ayşe Oyman||Özgür Gündem||editor||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-03||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakırköy, Istanbul|
|Aziz Tekin||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Mardin||2012-01-29||Arrested||detained at the E-Type prison in Mardin|
|Bayram Namaz||Atılım||writer||2006-09-10||Released on 2014-05-08 ||detained during 7 years and 8 months at the F-Type prison in Edirne|
|Bedri Adanır||Aram Yayınları, Hawar||general director||2010-01-08||Released on 2012-11-27 ||detained during 689 days at the D-Type prison in Diyarbakır|
|Cengiz Kapmaz||Özgür Gündem||writer||2011-11-26||Convicted|
|Çağdaş Kaplan||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Istanbul||2011-12-20||Released on 2013-02-11||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Davut Uçar||Etik Ajans||director||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Deniz Yücel||Die Welt, taz||journalist||2017-02-14||Released on 2018-02-16||jailed in Istanbul|
|Derek Stoffel||CBC News||journalist||2013-06-12||Released on 2013-06-12 |
|Dilşah Ercan||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Mersin||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the M-Type prison in Ceyhan, Adana|
|Dilek Demiral||Özgür Gündem||journalist||2010-09-26||Released on 2014-03-03||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakırköy, Istanbul|
|Ebru Umar||Metro, Libelle||journalist, writer, columnist||2016-04-23||(Partly) released on 2016-04-24||Dutch journalist, arrested because of insulting Turkish president Erdoğan. Umar is prohibited to leave Turkey for the Netherlands awaiting further investigation.|
|Eda Akıllı Şanlı||Bizim Antalya||columnist||2016-07-25||Released pending trial the 2016-12-18|
|Ekrem Dumanlı||Zaman Gazetesi||general director||2014-12-14||Released on 2014-12-19|
|Emre Soncan||Zaman||correspondent||2016-07-24||Convicted, jailed pending trial||sentenced to 10 years and 5 months on 10th April 2018|
|Enis Berberoğlu||Zaman||14 June 2017||Released on 20 September 2018||Sentenced to 25 years on 14 June 2017, the sentence was lowered to 5 years and 10 months on 13 February 2018. Released until the end of his term as MP of the Turkish Parliament.|
|Erdal Süsem||Eylül||editor||2010-02-10||Convicted||Convicted to life in prison|
|Erol Zavar||Odak||director||2007-01-20||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Sincan, Ankara|
|Ertuğ Bozkurt||Dicle Haber Ajansı||editor||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Fatih Özgür Aydın||2011-07-25||Arrested|
|Fatma Koçak||Dicle Haber Ajansı||director||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakırköy, Istanbul|
|Faysal Tunç||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Sirnak||2007-04-05||Convicted||Sentenced twice to 6 years and 3 months|
|Ferhat Çiftçi||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Gaziantep||2011-02-16||Arrested||detained at the H-Type women prison in Gaziantep|
|Füsun Erdoğan||Özgür Radyo||general coordinator||2006-09-10||Released on 2014-05-08 ||detained during 7 years and 8 months at the T-Type prison in Kandira|
|Gülnaz Yıldız||Mücadele Birliği||2012-04-26||Convicted||Sentenced to 3 years and 9 months in prison|
|Gülsen Aslan||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Batman||2012-02-20||Released on 2012-10-15||detained at the M-Type prison in Batman|
|Habip Güler||Zaman||correspondent||2016-07-25||Convicted, jailed pending trial||sentenced to 6 years and 3 months on 8th of March 2018. Detained in Silivri Prison.|
|Hakan Soytemiz||2010-09-25||Released on 2012-09-24|
|Halil İbrahim Balta||Zaman, Yarına Bakış||correspondent||2016-07-25||Convicted, jailed pending trial||sentenced to 6 years and 3 months on 8th of March 2018.|
|Hamit Dilbahar||Azadiya Welat||writer||2010-02-13||Convicted||Sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.|
|Hasan Özgüneş||Azadiya Welat||writer||2011-10-28||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Hatice Duman||Atılım||director||2003-04-01||Convicted||sentenced to life imprisonment. Detained at the M-Type prison in Gebze|
|Hayati Yildiz||Azadiya Welat||2017-03-01||Released pending trial||Released pending trial the 20th September 2017|
|Hidayet Karaca||Samanyolu TV||owner||2014-12-14||Convicted||sentenced to 31 years imprisonment on the 3rd November 2017.|
|Hüseyin Deniz||Evrensel||correspondent||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-27||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|İlker İlkan||Azadiya Welat||2016-09-09||Released pending trial||Released the 12 October 2017|
|Ismail Yıldız||Dersim||director||2011-12-24||Released on 2013-02-11||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Kadri Gürsel||Cumhuriyet||journalist||2016-10||Released on 2017-09-25||He was accused, together with other Cumhuriyet staff, in the case on terrorism charges, with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the Fethullahist Organization (FETÖ) among the groups named in the indictments.|
|Kenan Baş||Zaman||correspondent||2016-07-25||Released on the 29th March 2017, pending trial|
|Kenan Karavil||Radyo Dünya||general director||2009-12-11||Released on 2010-10-22||detained at the F-Type prison in Kürkçüler, Adana|
|Kenan Kırkaya||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Ankara||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-27||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Mazlum Dolan||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Diyarbakır||2016-02-19||Released pending trial||released after serving 15 months in Diyarbakir Prison|
|Mazlum Özdemir||Dicle Haber Ajansı||editor||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-27||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Mediha Olgun||Sözcü||2017-05-26||Released pending trial||Released pending trial the 22nd September 2017|
|Mehmet Anıl||Etkin Haber||2016-10-07||Released pending trial the 2016-12-14|
|Mehmet Baransu||Taraf||correspondent and columnist||2015-03-02||detained at the Metris Prison|
|Mehmet Dener||2016-07-22||Released pending trial 2017-03-24|
|Mehmet Emin Yıldırım||Azadiya Welat||general director||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-27||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Mehmet Güneş||Türkiye Gerçeği||writer||???-??-??||Released on 2012-10-05 ||detained during 310 days at the F-Type Tekirdağ number 2 prison|
|Mehmet Haberal||Kanal B||owner||2009-04-17||Arrested|
|Mehmet Yeşiltepe||Devrimci Hareket||writer||2009-04-30||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Tekirdağ|
|Murat Aksoy||journalist||2017-04||Released on 2017-10-25||Jailed pending trial over suspected links to the FETÖ media network. He was accused of “being a member of a terror group” and of “participating in a coup attempt.”|
|Murat Öztürk||Çorum Manşet||2016-08-21||Released pending trial||Released pending trial the 16th May 2017|
|Musa Kart||Yürüyüş||2012-09-18||Arrested||detained in Silivri Prison|
|Mustafa Balbay||Cumhuriyet||correspondent in Ankara||2009-03-06||Released on 2013-12-09||detained at the E-type prison in Sincan, Ankara for 4 years and 277 days|
|Mustafa Gök||Ekmek ve Adalet||correspondent in Ankara||2004-02-19||Convicted||Sentenced to life in prison for attempting the constitutional order by force.|
|Nahide Ermiş||Demokratik Modernite||board member||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-01-14||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
|Nazlı Ilıcak||Bulvar, Bugün, Hurriyet||publisher, journalist||2016-07-29||Convicted/Jailed Pending Appeal||Sentenced to life in prison with solitary confinement in 2018|
|Nedim Türfent||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Van||2016-05-12||Convicted||Sentenced to 8 years and 9 months in prison on the 15 December 2017|
|Nevin Erdemir||Özgür Gündem||editor||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-27||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
|Nilgün Yıldız||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Mardin||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
|Nurettin Fırat||Özgür Gündem||writer||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Nuri Yeşil||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Tunceli||2010-05-27||Arrested||detained at the E-Type prison in Elbistan|
|Oktay Candemir||Dicle Haber Ajansı||journalist||2011-12-24||Released on 2012-11-16||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Olgun Matur||Bizim Antalya||owner||2016-07-25||Arrested|
|Ömer Çelik||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Istanbul||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Ömer Çiftçi||Demokratik Modernite||owner||2011-12-24||Released on 2013-02-11||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Ömer Faruk Çalışkan||Özgür Halk||general director||2008-07-19||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Ozan Kılınç||Azadiya Welat||Editor||2010-07-22||Convicted||Sentenced to 32 years in prison.|
|Özlem Ağuş||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Adana||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the women prison in Karatas, Adana|
|Pervin Yerlikaya||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Istanbul
|2011-12-24||Released on 2013-02-11||detained at the L-Type prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
|Ramazan Pekgöz||Günlük||editor||2011-12-20||Released in 2014-05-12|
|Sadık Topaloğlu||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Urfa||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Saša Petricic||CBC News||journalist||2013-06-12||Released on 2013-06-12 |
|Selahattin Aslan||Demokratik Modernite||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Semiha Alankuş||Demokratik Modernite||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-27||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Sevcan Atak||Özgür Halk||editor||2010-06-18||Arrested||detained at the women prison in Karatas, Adana|
|Seyithan Akyüz||Azadiya Welat||correspondent in Adana||2009-12-11||Arrested||detained at the M-Type prison in Iskenderun|
|Sibel Güler||Özgür Gündem||journalist||2011-12-24||Released on 2014-03-03||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy Istanbul|
|Sinan Aygül||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Bitlis||2011-01-23||Released on 2012-11-07||detained at the E-Type prison in Muş|
|Şirin Çoban||Azadiya Welat||2016-09-09||Released pending trial||Released on the 12th October 2017|
|Soner Yalçın||OdaTV, Hürriyet||owner, journalist||2011-02-14||Released on 2012-12-27 ||detained at the L-Type prison in Silivri|
|Sultan Şaman||Hevîya Jinê||editor||2012-02-07||Arrested||detained at the M-Type prison in Batman|
|Şahabettin Demir||Dicle Haber Ajansı||correspondent in Van||2010-09-05||Arrested|
|Şükrü Sak||Akıncı Yol ve Baran Dergisi||general director||2010-04-26||Arrested||detained at the E-Type prison in Sivas|
|Tayip Temel||Azadiya Welat||writer||2011-10-08||Arrested||detained at the D-Type prison in Diyarbakir|
|Tuncay Özkan||ex-Kanaltürk||owner||2008-09-27||Arrested||detained at the L-Type prison in Silivri|
|Turabi Kişin||Özgür Gündem||editor||2012-01-02||Arrested||detained at the F-Type prison in Kandira|
|Turhan Özlü||Ulusal Kanal||general director||2011-10-08||Arrested||detained at the L-Type prison in Silivri|
|Vedat Demir||Yarına Bakış||columnist||2016-08-03||Released on 2017-02-17||detained at the Silivri Prison|
|Yalçın Küçük||writer||2011-03-07||Arrested||detained at the L-Type prison in Silivri|
|Yüksel Genç||Özgür Gündem||writer||2011-12-24||Arrested||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
|Zeynep Kuray||Birgün||correspondent in Istanbul||2011-12-24
||Released on 2013-04-26||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
|Ziya Çiçekçi||Özgür Gündem||owner||2011-12-24||Released on 2013-02-11||detained at the F-Type women prison in Kandira|
|Zuhal Tekiner||Dicle Haber Ajansı||owner||2011-12-24||Released on 2013-02-11||detained at the L-Type women prison in Bakirköy, Istanbul|
Grounds for prosecution
Kemalist and / or nationalist journalists were arrested on charges referring to the Ergenekon case and several left-wing and Kurdish journalists were arrested on charges of engaging in propaganda for the PKK listed as a terrorist organization. After the corruption operation in 17/25th of December 2013 and in particular after coup attempt of 15 July, the apartments of journalists were raided and sent to prison. The journalists such as Mehmet Baransu, Ece Sevim Ozturk, who were investigating the ‘ Coup attempt’, were arrested. Media organizations such as Zaman newspaper, Cihan News Agency and Samanyolu TV, which were affiliated to the Fethullah Gülen group, were confiscated. Journalists working in these institutions were imprisoned. Life imprisonment was given to journalists such as Hidayet Karaca and Ahmet Altan. With the dozens of published decrees, newspapers, TV, radio, magazine, website was closed. The legal framework on organised crime and terrorism is imprecise and contains definitions which are open to abuse, leading to numerous indictments and convictions. Moreover, its interpretation by prosecutors and courts is uneven and is not in line with the European Convention on Human Rights or the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, according to the European Commission. No clear distinction is made between incitement to violence and the expression of nonviolent ideas. The application of Articles 6 and 7 of the Anti-Terror Law in combination with Articles 220 and 314 of the Turkish Criminal Code leads to abuses; in short, writing an article or making a speech can still lead to a court case and a long prison sentence for membership or leadership of a terrorist organisation. Together with possible pressure on the press by state officials and the threat of possible firing of critical journalists, this situation can lead to a widespread self-censorship. Frequent website bans are a cause for serious concern and there is a need to revise the law on the internet.
Most journalists are in prison based on the following laws:
- The Anti-Terror Law of Turkey (also known as Terörle Mücadele Yasası, TMY), Articles 5 and 7 relating to articles of the Criminal Code on terrorist offences and organizations or assisting members of or making propaganda in connection with such organizations, as well as the lengthening of sentences;
- The Criminal Code of Turkey (also known as Türk Ceza Kanunu, TCK), Article 314 on establishing, commanding or becoming member of an armed organization with the aim of committing certain offences.
3 types of journalists targeted
According to a report published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Turkish authorities are engaging in widespread criminal prosecution and jailing of journalists, and are applying other forms of severe pressure to promote self-censorship in the press. The CPJ has found highly repressive laws, particularly in the penal code and anti-terror law; a criminal procedure code that greatly favors the state; and a harsh anti-press tone set at the highest levels of government. Turkey’s press freedom situation has reached a crisis point. This reports mentions 3 types of journalists targeted:
- investigative and critical reporters: victims of the anti-state prosecutions : The government’s broad inquiry into the Ergenekon plot ensnared investigative reporters. But the evidence, rather than revealing conspirators, points to a government intent on punishing critical reporters.
- Kurdish journalists: Turkish authorities conflate support for the Kurdish cause with terrorism itself. When it comes to Kurdish journalists, newsgathering activities such as fielding tips, covering protests, and conducting interviews are evidence of a crime.
- collateral damages of the general assault on the press: The authorities are waging one of the world’s biggest anti-press campaigns in recent history. Dozens of writers and editors are in prison, nearly all on terrorism or other anti-state charges.
Concerns persisted over the rights of the defence, lengthy pre-trial detention and excessively long and catch-all indictments, leading to significantly enhanced public scrutiny of the legitimacy of these trials.
A report issued by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media describes a number of concerns concerning the case of arrested journalists in Turkey:
- Courts often impose exceptionally long imprisonment sentences. The longest conviction is 166 years and the longest jail sentence sought for a journalist is 3,000 years.
- Many journalists face double life sentences if convicted, some without possibility for parole. Courts do not tend to grant pre-trial release of defendants.
- There is concern that arrests and long pre-trial detentions without conviction are used as a form of intimidation.
- Pre-trial detentions remain very long. In some cases journalists held in prison for up to three years are still awaiting trial. Some journalists have been imprisoned for more than five years while their trial is ongoing.
- Journalists often face several trials and are often convicted for several offences. There is one journalist who faces 150 court cases.
- Media outlets reporting about sensitive issues (including terrorism or anti-government activities) are often regarded by the authorities as the publishing organs of illegal organizations. Courts often consider reporting about such issues as equal to supporting them.
- Journalists are often imprisoned in F-tipi cezaevi (F-type high security prisons), where they have to serve their time with the most dangerous criminals. It is also not uncommon to punish journalists with solitary confinement for extended time periods.
- List of prosecuted Turkish writers
- List of journalists killed in Turkey
- Censorship in Turkey
- Human rights in Turkey
- Human rights in Europe
- International Freedom of Expression Exchange
- Media freedom in Turkey
- Turkey's media purge after the failed July 2016 coup d'état
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Political prisoners in Turkey.|
- List of journalists in jail as of Jan 28, 2017. (turkeypurge.com)
- Turkey’s Press Freedom Woes Worse Than You Think. (stockholmcf.org) This page has several PDF reports that include list of journalists in jail as of Jan 24, 2018.
- A list of arrested journalists throughout the history of Turkey up to November 2016, compiled by Turhan Güney of Cumhuriyet (bianet.org)