Two Turkish journalists face 20 years in jail over magazine cover
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Cihan PhotoTwo editors of weekly news magazine Nokta were charged on Nov. 25 with “inciting an armed uprising against the Turkish government,” with the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office demanding up to 20 years in prison for each of them.
Nokta’s editor-in-chief, Cevheri Güven, and its chief news editor, Murat Çapan, were arrested on Nov. 3 as part of the investigation launched into the magazine’s 24th edition, which showed a picture of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on its cover alongside the headline “Nov. 2: The beginning of Turkey’s civil war.” Prosecutors said the cover “overtly incited people to commit crime” and encouraged “sedition.”
The magazine was referring to the day after the Nov. 1 general election, in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained its majority in parliament, enabling it to form a government alone.
According to the indictment, the prosecutor claimed that Nokta attempted to sabotage the election, provoke certain segments of society against the president and government, and incite an armed uprising.
The prosecutor demanded between 15 and 20 years in jail for Güven and Çapan, who both deny all charges.
Güven reportedly said in his testimony that Nokta’s editorial team outlined the cover before the election, anticipating a coalition rather than a single-party government.
As part of the investigation, an Istanbul court also ordered the confiscation of all copies of Nokta, on the grounds that its cover “incites crime.” The magazine had also been confiscated less than two months before, after a court ruled that it had “insulted the president.”