Turkish prosecutor seeks up to 10.5 years jail term for online chief of daily Cumhuriyet over terror charges
ISTANBULThe Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office on June 8 filed an indictment against the online chief of daily Cumhuriyet, who had been arrested on terror charges after the daily’s reporting on the death of a prosecutor, seeking up to 10.5 years of jail time on the same charge, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Oğuz Güven was arrested on May 15 on charges of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization,” following a tweet that was deleted 55 seconds after it was shared on Cumhuriyet’s Twitter account regarding the death of Denizli chief public prosecutor Mustafa Alper in a car crash five days earlier.
Alper had been the first to launch an investigation into the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and his Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
In his testimony, Güven reportedly said he did not tweet the report himself, adding that it was “shared completely by mistake” in a bid to break the news immediately.
The prosecutor’s office had then launched an investigation into the journalist on the grounds that he “had disgraced the struggle against FETÖ.”
The indictment stated that Güven shared reports published on the daily’s website on his social media account that “legitimized and encouraged the violent methods of terror organizations,” including those of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“The freedom of expressing and spreading the thought is a right guaranteed by the constitution and the international convention, but it cannot be said that expressing the thought is unlimited. Terror, which is condemned by all nations, cannot be praised by expressing the thought, and terror organizations’ propaganda cannot be made,” the indictment said, while referring to the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and the decisions of the Supreme Court Assembly of Criminal Chambers.
It said the posts shared by Güven were not within the context of press freedom and demanded jail terms for him ranging from 2.5 years to 10.5 years on charges of “making terror organization propaganda” and “publishing the publications of a terror organization.”
The indictment was approved and sent to the Istanbul high criminal court.