Turkish magazine’s detained news editor released on probation

Turkish magazine’s detained news editor released on probation

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Turkish magazine’s detained news editor released on probation

DHA photo

The chief news editor of weekly magazine Nokta, which was raided by police due to the cover of its latest issue, was released on probation on Sept. 15.

Murat Çapan was detained on Sept. 14 on charges of “insulting the Turkish president” and “making terrorist propaganda,” soon after the raid on the magazine’s office in Istanbul. He was sent to court with an arrest demand, but was later released on probation.

Speaking to reporters after his release on Sept. 15, Çapan vowed to continue working “without making concessions.”

“We are doing our job and we will continue to do it. We will not make concessions over what we know it is right. We felt the support of our colleagues and nothing unwanted happened [in jail during detainment]. I believe that the right is always right but the strong is not always strong. We will continue to share our opinions with people,” he said. 

Copies of Nokta’s latest edition, which had a photomontage cover showing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan taking a selfie in front a killed soldier’s coffin, were confiscated ahead of delivery upon a notice from the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office.

Nokta’s office building in Istanbul’s Okmeydanı neighborhood was raided by police on charges of “insulting the Turkish president” and “making terrorist propaganda” on Sept. 14.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Cevheri Güven, said on Twitter on Sept. 14 that police officers had come 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 the time of the raid. “Police were at Nokta’s doorstep at 1:30 a.m. It’s now 8:30 a.m. and police are again at the doorstep.”

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 but were confiscated at the delivery centers, Nokta Magazine Publication Coordinator Ertuğrul Erbaş said, adding that copies could not be delivered to individual stores.

Nokta’s lawyer, Kadir Kökten, said a criminal court of peace under the administration of the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office should have issued a ruling in order to authorize the police to confiscate copies of the magazine, but no ruling had been issued.

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks also condemned the raids on Nokta.

“Ban, raids and arrests at Nokta worsen an already worrying situation [of] freedom of expression in Turkey.

Authorities must keep the media free,” Muižnieks tweeted via his official Twitter account on Sept. 14.