Turkish journalist briefly detained for tweets in first 'reasonable doubt' raid: Lawyer
ADANAA journalist was briefly detained in southern Turkey over his tweets criticizing the government, in the first police raid that a court has warranted using the controversial new “reasonable doubt” regulation, his lawyer claimed on Oct. 17.
Aytekin Gezici, a journalist based in the southern province of Adana, was detained at his home in the morning, Cihan News Agency reported.
Sinan Sivri, a judge at a Criminal Court of Peace in Adana, issued a search warrant for the police raid, citing “reasonable doubt” for seizing “possible criminal property,” according to the report.
The warrant also permits police to “copy and examine” the suspect’s computer’s logs and programs, cell phone, camera and other electronic material.
Gezici was briefly detained and taken to police headquarters for his testimony. Yusuf Özel, the suspect’s lawyer, claimed that the raid and detention related to tweets that Gezici had earlier posted.
The current Turkish Penal Code (TCK) article on search warrants for a suspect or defendant includes the requirement that there be “strong suspicion based on concrete evidence.” However, a planned amendment is expected to loosen the criterion by stressing “reasonable doubt” rather than “concrete evidence.” The full text of the draft bill is yet to be publicized.
Gezici, who previously worked for the television channels of Star and TGRT, as well as daily Zaman, had also been employed as a press advisor of a district municipality in Adana.
He has recently been tweeting critical messages about government figures, and has also published a book on Fuat Avni, an unidentified Twitter whistleblower who angered the government with his “leaks” after the corruption investigations into government officials in December 2013.