Editor-in-Chief of the local Istanbul daily Halkın Nabzı and Artı Gerçek columnist İshak Karakaş, who was arrested on “terror propaganda charges” on 26 January for criticizing Turkey’s military operation in Syria, was released under judicial control measures in his first court appearance on 8 May.
In his court statement, İshak Karakaş said he is a journalist, noting that he posted the tweets being used as evidence against him. Saying they were mostly retweets of new reports and his own commentary, Karakaş noted that Turkish media coverage of Afrin operations was one-sided and unethical.
"I am a defender of peace. Would you defend peace, which is sacred, or war, which is to be condemned? I am innocent and I want my acquittal" he told the court.
Uğur Karakaş, a lawyer for Karkaş said: "My client is a peace activist. He has no criminal record. Editorial policy of Halkın Nabzı magazine has no violent or terror content. He is a journalist. We demand his release.”
The court also ruled to release other defendants Abdullah Yeşilbağdan, Cevdet Taş, Murat Demir, Ömer Karakurt, Tarzan Aktan, Yaşar Yılmaz Altunbilek and Yücel Üney. The court also ruled to keep judicial control measures in place for Şervan Dinçer, another defendant who had been released pending trial.
The trial was adjourned until 18 September 9 am.
The number of journalists and media workers in Turkish prisons has fallen to 181 following the release of İshak Karakaş.