Turkish magazine raided, copies collected for insulting Erdoğan
Fırat Alkaç - ISTANBUL
Turkish social media users have been sharing this montage image of former British PM Tony Blair, noting that it was never the subject of a legal case in the UKTurkish magazine Nokta has been raided by police officers reportedly due to its latest issue, which shows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan taking a selfie near a killed soldier’s coffin, with copies of the issue confiscated ahead of delivery upon an Istanbul prosecutor’s office decision.
Nokta’s office building in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood was raided by Istanbul Police Department officers on charges of “insulting the Turkish president” and “making terrorist propaganda” in the early hours of Sept. 14 as the magazine prepared to deliver its latest issue.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Cevheri Güven, said on Twitter on Sept. 14 that police officers came to their office twice, once at around midnight and again in the early morning of Sept. 14.
“Police arrived at our doorstep. It’s 1:30 a.m. I think [copies of] Nokta will be confiscated,” Güven tweeted at around midnight. “Police at Nokta’s doorstep at 1:30 a.m., it’s 8:30 a.m. and police are again at the doorstep.”
The magazine’s chief news editor Murat Çapan was also detained on charges of “insulting the Turkish president” and “making terrorist propaganda.” He was sent to court with a demand to be arrested. Çopan was later released on probation.
Copies of the magazine’s 18th issue were confiscated after the police department filed a request with the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office to obtain permission to conduct a search of the magazine’s office building, collect copies of its 18th issue and block access to the magazine’s Twitter account because “content of Nokta’s 18th issue has been considered to be insulting to the president.”
The copies were published and sent to delivery centers, Nokta Magazine Publication Coordinator Ertuğrul Erbaş said. “Copies [of Nokta’s 18th issue] were confiscated at delivery centers,” Erbaş said, adding that copies could not be delivered to individual stores.
The magazine’s lawyer, Kadir Kökten, said a criminal court of peace under administration of the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office should have issued a ruling to authorize police to confiscate the copies but no ruling has yet been issued.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, commented on the raids against Nokta.
“Ban, raids and arrest at Nokta worsen an already worrying situation [of] freedom of expression in Turkey.
Authorities must keep the media free,” he tweeted via his official Twitter account on Sept. 14.