Turkish journalist briefly detained at airport after missed court appearance
Turkish journalist Bülent Keneş. Cihan PhotoTurkish journalist Bülent Keneş, the former editor-in-chief of Today’s Zaman, was briefly detained at Istanbul Atatürk Airport before departing for İzmir for failing to appear in court, where he is being tried for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Keneş was detained because he did not show up in court for his trial for insulting Erdoğan on social media and through statements, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
“The Turkish state is working,” Keneş wrote on his Twitter account, while also stating he had been detained by anti-terror police at the airport at 5:45 a.m. on Dec. 11 for a “routine, procedural matter.”
Keneş defined himself as an “easy ‘terrorist’” who has nothing but his pencil.
Meanwhile, Keneş also made a statement while being brought to the police headquarters after undergoing a medical examination.
“People blow up bombs, there are human traffickers, drug traffickers, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] militants, al-Qaeda militants, [outlawed] Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] militants, but the police are occupied dealing with journalists,” Keneş was reported as saying by Cihan News Agency.
An Istanbul prosecutor has demanded up to eight years and two months in jail for Keneş, who stepped down from his post at Today’s Zaman last week citing pressure on media freedom, for “openly insulting the president” and for “repeated insults.”
The prosecutor said some of Keneş’s tweets could not be considered within the limits of freedom of expression, while some of his remarks, saying “I will make them regret this” and “They will also regret that they freed me,” were included in a separate investigation into alleged threatening behavior.