Turkey: Allegedly insulted Erdogan - well-known TV journalist detained
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TV journalist Siddik Kapas is being held because she is said to have insulted President Erdogan. There is a way to act against media workers in Turkey.

ISTANBUL – TV journalist in Turkey because of statements critical of the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan They were arrested and detained. Sadaf Kabas was arrested on Saturday (January 22, 2022) around 2 am (local time) in her apartment in Istanbul, according to her lawyer, Ugur Boyras. Accordingly, a court ordered her arrest for “insulting the president”.

The journalist on Friday (January 21, 2022) criticized the government for suppressing critics and polarizing society in a TV show on Tele 1. Kabas later criticized Erdogan on Twitter, where she is followed by 900,000 people – without explicitly naming the head of state.

Turkey: Erdogan’s spokesman calls the remarks “immoral”

“When a bull enters a palace, it does not become a king, but the palace becomes a stable,” the Turkish TV journalist wrote in the SMS service. The tweet has attracted a lot of attention and has garnered over 140,000 likes (as of Jan 23, 2022, 8:40 a.m.). Insulting the president is a criminal offense in Turkey, punishable by imprisonment from one to four years.

Cabinet members and Erdogan’s spokesman, Fahrettin Altun, called Kapas “immoral” and “irresponsible” after their statements. “The so-called journalist has openly insulted our president on a TV channel that has no purpose other than to spread hate,” Alton said on Twitter. “I condemn in the strongest terms this arrogance, this lack of morality,” he added.

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Journalist arrested in Turkey for criticizing Erdogan: ‘Violent attack’

Kapa’s lawyer, Ugur Boeras, told dpa that he would appeal the “unlawful” decision. “We hope that Turkey will soon be able to return to the rule of law,” the lawyer said. Mardan Yanardag, editor-in-chief of Tele 1 channel, also strongly criticized the arrest. “Your arrest at 2 am for saying an unacceptable article,” the journalist wrote on Twitter. “This position is an attempt to intimidate journalists, the media and society,” he added.

The Turkish Journalists Syndicate TGS said Kapa’s arrest was a “serious attack on press freedom”. The association has repeatedly denounced restrictions on press freedom in Turkey, particularly since the 2016 coup attempt. In a press freedom ranking by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders last year, Turkey ranked 153rd out of 180 countries surveyed.

Erdogan’s government, led by the Justice and Development Party, has repeatedly taken action against the press. After TV stations reported critical reports of forest fires in Turkey in August 2021, the Public Prosecutor’s Office opened investigations into “insulting the Turkish government” and “inciting fear and disorder”. At the end of 2020, journalist Kahn Dundar, who lives in exile in Germany, was sentenced to more than 27 years in prison.

Turkey: Former TV journalist criticized Erdogan

Meanwhile, Turkey’s media regulator RTUK has launched a separate investigation against broadcaster Tele 1 for “unacceptable statements against our president”, its chief Ebubekir Sahin announced on Twitter. Meanwhile, users on social media have shown their support for Kapas.

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The 52-year-old journalist was briefly detained in 2014 over a message on social media. At the time, she had criticized the Public Prosecutor’s Office for dropping a corruption investigation that also implicated Erdogan. (tvd with dpa / AFP)

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