You can read 19 more articles this month
PRESS freedom in Turkey was dealt a further blow on yesterday after three broadcast executives were sentenced to jail on trumped-up terrorism charges.
Hayatin Sesi TV executives Mustafa Kara, Ismail Gokhan Bayram and Gokhan Cetin were each sentenced to three years, nine months in prison over allegations of making propaganda for terrorist organisations.
The TV station was one of the media organisations closed under the Decree Law (KHK) issued under the state of emergency in October 2016.
Defence lawyer Devrim Avci charged: “It was not enough to shut it down, they wanted to punish them repeatedly.”
They were charged after covering news of the Isis bomb attack of a peace rally in Ankara in which 102 people were killed.
Hayatin Sesi’s live broadcast from the scene was used as a criminal indictment in the case.
The TV station was sued for allegedly making propaganda for Isis, (PKK offshoot) TAK, and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the same case.
But Ms Avci explained that many national and international broadcasting organisations reported on the explosions, saying that to do so is a requirement of journalism.
"When you report as news a terrorist action, you are not a member of the terrorist organisation," she said.
The court, which announced its decision at the end of the hearing, sentenced the trio to three years and nine months in prison by a majority vote.
Following the trial, lawyers and representatives of the professional press organisation reacted to the verdict holding a press conference in front of the courthouse.
Ms Avci told those gathered: “The court gave the following justification in its decision — the weight of the crime, the purpose of the defendants and the motive ...
“My clients have informed the public about how political power is hiding knowledge.
“Already political power can easily call anyone outside itself the terrorist. We object to this decision and will appeal.”
She warned that hundreds of workers have been detained during the construction of Istanbul’s third airport but that the incidents were not reflected on television screens in Turkey.
“If Hayatin Sesi TV had not been shut down, it would have carried news about them.
“Because of that, those with political power immediately called them ‘terrorists’ and brought them to court.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.