Turkish Journalist Faces 4 Years Jail for Insulting the President

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journalist

OZAN KOSE/AFP

Turkey – Journalists have been suffering the consequences of reporting on the misdeeds of the Turkish Government. Turkey, having alarmed the world with the highest number of journalists in prison, and very high numbers of fatal and non-fatal attacks against independent journalists, has witnessed a steep decline in the quality of journalism as well as the level of freedom in the area.

The latest incident is a new court case against Tunca Ogreten, a daring journalist who has penned many important articles and news pieces in recent years. The latest court case opened against him is about an interview he had with Perihan Magden, a prominent writer, on the topic of confiscation of Nokta Mag in September 2015 (a provocative political magazine that does not shy away from courageous publications and criticism, which has been closed down and editors arrested).

The crime that Ogreten is accused of is filed under “Insult to the President” cases, and the claim arises from Magden’s statement regarding president Erdogan “he is behaving like a wild tiger, a wild animal in a corner” in the interview.

journalist Tunca Ogreten

Tunca Ogreten

Ogreten writes for the digital platform Diken, which is a young news portal.  The Daily Yurt also published the news piece and the president’s lawyers cited news clips from Yurt when they contacted the Republican Chief Prosecutor in Istanbul.

Magden has been questioned regarding the quotation and denied accusations saying “as a writer I have applied a literary form of similitude while criticizing the raiding of the Nokta Mag.”

The court has denied Magden’s denial and a court case has been opened not only for Magden who stated the quotation but also Ogreten who published the words “wild animal”. Journalist Ogreten is facing up to 4 years for this court case, the first trial will take place in Istanbul on May 12th.

There are a total of five criminal cases opened against Ogreten, 3 for “insult to president”, 2 for “insult to prime minister” and one for “terrorism propaganda through journalism”.

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at - revnewsmedia@gmail.com