- Title: Award winning Turkish writer appears in court for ties to Kurdish militants
- Date: 29th December 2016
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (DECEMBER 29, 2016) (REUTERS) CAMERAS FILMING LAWMAKERS FROM TURKEY'S MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY CHP, SEZGIN TANRIKULU AND BARIS YARKADAS, WALKING TOWARDS CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) CHP LAWMAKER, BARIS YARKADAS, SAYING: "With Asli Erdogan and Necmiye Alpay, arresting journalists means the blocking of society's right to receive news. The government doesn't want any alternative or opposing voice." CAMERAMAN FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) CHP LAWMAKER, BARIS YARKADAS, SAYING: "Our impressions is that, just before a possible referendum (for a new constitution), activities against journalists, writers, filmmakers, artists and intellectuals will increase, and it means lots of people will be on trial, especially because of their social media accounts." LIGHTS FLASHING ON POLICE CAR IN FRONT OF COURTHOUSE
- Embargoed: 13th January 2017 13:14
- Keywords: Turkey opposition writer trial
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA0035EXS75Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Prize-winning Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan and linguist Necmiye Alpay appeared in court on Thursday (December 29) after being charged with spreading terrorist propaganda, along with seven other staff from a pro-Kurdish newspaper closed by the authorities.
Prosecutors are seeking long jail terms or life sentences for the defendants on charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation and harming national unity.
Alpay and Asli Erdogan, who is not related to the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, have been in jail after awaiting trial since August. They both pleaded not guilty.
Asli Erdogan is a member of the advisory board for the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, which was closed by court order on Tuesday (December 27) on the grounds of spreading propaganda of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
Separately, a prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Sik said on Thursday he was being detained by authorities over a Twitter statement he made. An opposition lawmaker who spoke to him said the reporter was being accused of terrorist propaganda.
At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, with more than 130 media outlets shut since a failed coup attempt in July. Journalists and writers are largely facing charges of terrorist propaganda.
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