Nine years in jail demanded for renowned Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal
Fırat Alkaç - ISTANBULAn Istanbul prosecutor has demanded up to nine years in jail for prominent Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal on charges of “making terror propaganda” in one of his articles.
Cemal stood trial on Jan. 12, charged with “making the propaganda of terrorist organizations” and “praising crime and criminals” in a July 11, 2016 column titled “Fehman Hüseyin.”
The court ruled to postpone the trial after Cemal said in his testimony that he would simply repeat the testimony he has already given to the prosecutor.
In that testimony, Cemal had said it was a journalist’s job to possibly meet a terrorist leader one day and a prime minister the next.
“I have been interested in the Kurdish issue and the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK since 1980. I have written many columns and four books about this issue. No investigation has been opened on claims of making terrorism propaganda against any of my columns or books until today,” he stated.
“A journalist may meet an organization's leader who has pulled a gun on the state one day and then meet a prime minister the next day. These are the discrepancies and ironies of journalism,” he added.
Cemal, who was one of the nine campaigners who last year served as one-day editors-in-chief of daily Özgür Gündem as a part of a solidarity campaign, was also called to testify on Sept. 1.