Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Turkey28 October 2003

Journalist jailed for second time

Reporters Without Borders today reiterated its call for a judicial review of the case of journalist Sinan Kara, who was incarcerated yesterday in Urla prison in the western Izmir region to begin serving a one-year prison sentence passed in June by Turkey’s highest appeal court for allegedly threatening Mert Ciller, a son of former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller.

Kara is the former owner of the general interest fortnightly Datça Haber and former correspondent for the news agency Dogan in the Datça region. As things stand, he will have to spend at least 144 days in prison.

Reporters Without Borders already called for a review of the case in a letter to justice minister Cemil Cicek on 22 October. "A sentence of one year in prison seems out of all proportion to the charge on which he was convicted," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in the letter.

"At a time when the European Union is preparing its report on the progress made by Turkey as regards membership, such a severe sentence on a journalist who has already spent months in prison would have the worst possible impact," Ménard added.

The alleged offence occurred when Kara took photographs of Ciller on vacation in Datça. Kara said one of Ciller’s bodyguards attacked him, injuring him and damaging his camera. Kara filed a complaint with the police, alleging assault. But the bodyguard produced witnesses who maintained that Kara was the aggressor and that he had uttered threats.

Kara, who is known for articles criticising local political leaders, was already imprisoned from 26 December 2002 to 7 February 2003 for failing to comply with a press law requirement for newspaper publishers to send two copies of each issue to the sub-prefect’s office.

  In this country
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
12 May - Turkey
Journalist held for past two weeks on suspicion of collaborating with armed group
5 May - Turkey
YouTube completes a year of being blocked in Turkey
1 April - Turkey
Ergenekon conspirators could have been behind journalist Hrant Dink’s murder
11 March - Turkey
Journalist arrested and charged in connection with alleged Ergenekon conspiracy

in the annual report
Turkey - Annual Report 2008
Turkey - Annual report 2007
Turkey - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives