Turkish Prosecutor Demands Jail Terms for Journalists

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Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has prepared an indictment, seeking between five and ten years in jail for two journalists, and a non-commissioned officer. They are charged with “revealing state secrets”, the online T24 news platform reported.

Müyesser Yıldız, news editor for the OdaTV online news portal is facing charges with regards to articles published about Ankara’s military involvement in Libya. She has been in jail since June of this year. One article published in December, questioned which Turkish commanders had met Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA).

A second article published in January gave details about a military officer who was sent to Libya, to oversee Turkey’s involvement there. İsmail Dükel, Ankara representative of broadcaster for TELE1, was detained alongside Yıldız on 8 June, but was released a few days later on court orders. It remains unclear what part of the National Intelligence Law, Dükel is being charged.

The third defendant, Erdal Baran, is a non-commissioned officer in the Turkish military. Baran is accused of sharing “state secrets” with Yıldız and Dükel. OdaTV and TELE1 are known to be critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Critics have said President Erdogan used the failed 2016 coup as a pretext to clamp down on dissent and strengthen his grip on power. This is a charge Ankara denies, claiming the measures are necessary to safeguard national security. Turkey ranks among the top jailers of journalists across the world.