An individual application to the Constitutional Court was filed on journalist Salih Turan’s behalf, who was arrested on “making propaganda for an armed terrorist organization” charges on 12 February.
The application was filed by the Head of Media and Law Studies Association’s Legal Unit Veysel Ok, Zelal Pelin Doğan, and Nevroz Akalan and demands Turan’s release with an interim measure and his case to be examined with priority.
Lawyer Ok stated, “The reason for Salih’s arrest is entirely his occupational activities and his identity as a journalist. In addition to underlining this, we noted in our application that the arrest warrant lacks sufficient grounds. We reminded the Court of the ruling they gave regarding my application on Şahin Alpay’s behalf, which claimed that news reports cannot constitute a reason to justify custody, let alone arrest.”
The application also argued that Turan’s arrest violates the right to liberty and security; freedoms of expression and press, which are protected under the Constitution, as well as the right to liberty and security (Article 5) and freedom of expression (Article 10), which are protected under the European Human Rights Convention.
Twitter posts were presented as evidence against Turan
Salih Turan, who was detained on 12 February 2019, had formerly worked for Voice of America’s and Sputnik’s Kurdish offices as an editor. Prior to his arrest, Turan was working as a freelance editor while providing Kurdish translations for several TV shows of TRT’s Kurdish language channel. The indictment against poet and translator Turan presents the news stories he shared on his twitter account as evidence against him.
Turan will be tried on “making propaganda for an armed terrorist organization” charges for the 11 posts he shared on his twitter account between July 2016 and November 2017. His first hearing will take place on 21 March at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court.