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31 July

Journalists in State of Emergency - 5

Former Zaman Columnists Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lale Kemal, Nuriye Akman, Mustafa Ünal arrested


Seven journalists testified to prosecutors on July 30 as part of the investigation into journalists in the wake of the failed coup of July 15. Former Zaman columnists Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lale Kemal, Nuriye Akman and Mustafa Ünal were put under arrest and sent to prison under a single court order. Another Zaman columnist who testified on July 30 was released after questioning by the prosecutor without being referred to court. 

The latest arrests bring the total number of journalists who have been imprisoned in the investigation launched after the July 15 coup attempt to 29, while the number of arrested journalists, including those imprisoned for non-coup related charges, across the country rose to 62. 

Şahin Alpay, who has been in custody for four days, testified to police officers at the İstanbul Police Department on July 30 at noon in the presence of a lawyer appointed by the İstanbul Bar Association, as the authorities failed to notify his lawyers. A petition submitted earlier by the journalist’s lawyer and family asking prosecutors not to delay his questioning citing health reasons had been rejected by the prosecutor’s office.

On the evening of July 30, Alpay and former Zaman columnists Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Nuriye Akman, Lale Kemal and Mustafa Ünal were referred to court by prosecutors demanding their arrest. The court ruled to arrest the six journalists. 

Case against Dumanlı and his flight condition basis of ruling

The arrest ruling issued by the court does not level charges of membership in FETÖ (the Fethullah Gülen armed terrorist organization) or coup plotting against the journalists. 

However, the court has grounded its decision to arrest the journalists on their continuing to write for Zaman, in spite of a court case launched against former Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, where he was charged with membership in a terrorist organization. 

The court also noted that Ekrem Dumanlı had managed to flee the country, in spite of a probation order issued for him; and implied that based on Dumanlı’s precedent, all six former Zaman journalists are also a flight risk.

The court’s ruling also emphasized that the journalists had used expressions that “praised” FETÖ and attempted to “excuse” the coup attempt in their writings and social media posts.

Below is the full text of the final part of the decision in which the court explains the grounds for arresting the journalists. 

A translation of the formally announced rationale behind the decision of the 4th Criminal Judicature of Peace to arrest six former Zaman columnists on July 30, 2016 

(The run-on sentence structure has been left as is, with minimal changes to ensure intelligibility where necessary. The words in brackets were added by P24 for clarity of meaning.)

“The suspects have been referred [to the Judicature] with [prosecutors] demanding their arrest on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization; [it has been understood] that the suspects wrote articles in the Zaman Newspaper, which -- as a result of the investigations launched following the rebellion of elements within the armed forces that are members of the FETÖ/PDY armed terror organization against the country’s [central] administration, its administrators and constitutional agencies and as a result of prior investigations-- was discovered to be part of this [FETÖ/PDY] structure; that [the suspects wrote articles] praising this structure and have written articles criticizing the investigations launched by the police department and by judicial authorities that [sought to] undermine this investigation; that they have continued to write their articles [in Zaman] in spite of a court case launched against [Zaman] executive Ekrem Dumanlı on charges of membership in an armed terrorist organization; for this reason [it can be inferred that] they continued to remain within the same structure although they knew about the presence of armed elements within this structure; that especially even after the process better known as the December 17 process [the December 17 corruption investigation implicating four AKP ministers and Erdoğan’s family], their articles praising this structure continued [they continued to write these articles] with persistence and that [the suspects] conducted propaganda activities in accordance with the aims of this organization; and that they have continued contributing [to spreading this propaganda] from their social media accounts; that they have written articles that attempted to justify the rebellion and that [suspects] made statements in defense of the members of this organization, creating a public perception of their [the coupists’] innocence, that they continued their contributions [to FETÖ propaganda] despite the presence of the organization’s armed elements having been exposed on the night of July 15, 2016 and despite the presence of strong [believable] accounts and information prior to that that this organization was planning an armed uprising; that the newspaper where they worked was shut down for belonging to this structure; and that the accusations leveled against the suspects constitute an offence treated by Article 100 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CMK) as reason for arrest, and also due to many of the suspects in the investigations into the media arm of this investigation have fled [Turkey]; primarily the former executive [of Zaman] Ekrem Dumanlı, [who is] accused of the same crime, fled to a foreign country in spite of judicial probation measures in place for him; that State of Emergency remains in place in Turkey regarding these accusations and the process of gathering evidence [for the investigation] is still underway; it has been understood that probation measures would be insufficient in case of [these] suspects, and that they shall all be individually arrested under CMK 100 and consecutive [CMK ] articles”


Wife of suspected journalist detained

Meanwhile, former Zaman Washington Bureau Chief Ali H. Aslan claimed that families of those journalists who are on detention lists but are believed to have fled Turkey have been facing threats of detention themselves. 

Aslan also tweeted that the spouse of former Zaman Executive Bülent Korucu had been detained, with authorities allegedly saying she would not be released until Korucu turned himself in. 


Current legal status of journalists for whom detention warrants were formally announced


Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Samanyolu TV

Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, In custody

Abdullah Kılıç, Meydan columnist, Under arrest

Adil Gülçek

Ahmet Dönmez, Former Zaman reporter

Ahmet Memiş, Haberdar, In custody, Unconfirmed reports that he might have been arrested

Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Cihan Media Vice President, In custody

Ahmet Turan Alkan, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest 

Alaattin Güner, Former Cihan Media Director

Ali Akbulut, Formerly, owner of Zaman's rights

Ali Akkuş, Former Zaman Publications Editor, Under arrest

Ali Bulaç , Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest 

Ali Ünal, Former Zaman columnist

Arda Akın, Hürriyet reporter, Released on probation

Arzu Yıldız, Haberdar

Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, Yarına Bakış, Under arrest

Aytekin Gezici, In custody

Bayram Kaya, Zaman, Yeni Hayat reporter, Under arrest

Behçet Akyar,

Bilal Şahin, Özgür Düşünce

Bülent Ceyhan, Özgür Düşünce reporter

Bülent Keneş, Former Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief

Bülent Korucu, Former Zaman columnist

Bülent Mumay, Former Hürriyet Digital Press Coordinator, Released by court

Bünyamin Köseli, Former Aksiyon reporter, Under arrest

Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Under arrest

Cevheri Güven, Nokta Editor-in-Chief

Cihan Acar, Former Bugün Reporter, Under arrest

Cuma Kaya, In custody

Cuma Ulus, Former Millet Publications Coordinator, Under arrest

Emre Koçali, Haberdar, In custody

Emre Soncan, Former Zaman Defense reporter, Under arrest

Ercan Gün, Fox TV News Editor, In custody

Erkan Akkuş, Former Bugün TV Anchor

Erkan Büyük, Haberdar, In custody

Ertuğrul Erbaş, Former Nokta Editor

Faruk Akkan, Cihan News Agency, In custody

Faruk Kardıç

Fatih Akalan, Samanyolu Haber TV

Fatih Yağmur, Former Radikal Reporter

Fevzi Yazıcı

Habip Güler, Former Zaman reporter, Under arrest

Hakan Bülent Yardımcı, In custody

Hakan Taşdelen,

Hamit Bilici, Former Zaman Editor-in-Chief

Hamit Çiçek,

Hanım Büşra Erdal, Former Zaman Columnist, Court Reporter, Under arrest

Haşim Söylemez, Former Akisyon News Weekly Columnist, Under arrest

Hilmi Yavuz, Former  Zaman columnist, Released due to health reasons, will testify at a later time

Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan Reporter, Under arrest

Hüseyin Döğme,

Hüseyin Turan, Feza Media Group Partner, In custody

İbrahim Balta, Former Zaman Business Editor

İhsan Duran Dağı, Former Zaman Columnist

İsi Siyi, Haberdar, In custody

Kamil Maman, Former Bugün reporter

Kerim Gün, Former Zaman Editor

Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), Former  Zaman columnist, Under arrest

Levent Kenez, Meydan Editor-in-Chief

Lokman Erdoğan, Çorum Manşet, In custody

Mahmut Hazar, Cihan News Agency

Mehmet Akif Afşar

Mehmet Gündem, Former Milliyet Columnist, Released by court

Mehmet Kamış, Former Zaman Columnist

Mehmet Özdemir

Melih Kılıç, Zaman Media Group

Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu,

Metin Yıkar, Samanyolu Haber

Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Former  Zaman News Manager

Murat Avcıoğlu, In custody

Mustafa Erkan Acar, Cihan News Agency, Under arrest

Mustafa Ünal, Referred to court with prosecutor demanding an arrest

Mümtaz'er Türköne, Former  Zaman columnist, In custody

Mürsel Genç, Former Cihan reporter

Nevzat Güner,

Nuriye Ural (Akman), Former  Zaman columnist, Under arrest 

Oktay Vızvız

Olgun Batur, Local Antalya journalist, In custody

Osman Nuri Arslan, Partner in FİA, a finance company, In custody

Osman Nuri Öztürk

Ömer Karakaş

Rıfat Söylemez, Adana Günaydın (Local), In custody

Sait Sefa, Haberdar

Sedat Yetişkin,

Selahattin Sevi, Former Zaman Photography Coordinator

Sevgi Akarçeşme, Former Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief

Seyid Kılıç, Former TRT Reporter, Under arrest

Süleyman Sargın, Journalist

Şahin Alpay, Former Zaman columnist, Under arrest 

Şenol Kahraman

Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV, In custody

Taner Talaş, Local Adana journalist, In custody

Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya reporter, In custody

Turan Görüryılmaz, Can Erzincan TV Anchor

Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Karşı reporter

Ufuk Şanlı, Former Vatan columnist, Under arrest

Veysel Ayhan,

Yakup Çetin, Former Zaman Reporter, Under arrest

Yakup Sağlam, Former Zaman Reporter, Released on probation

Yüksel Durgut

Yüksel Evsen, Local Adana journalist, In custody

Zafer Özsoy, In custody

Zeki Önal, wasn't taken into custody due to poor health and advanced age, his home searched during probe


Detentions that occurred under State of Emergency but outside the coup probe 

Selami Aslan – DİHA

Mehmet Sıddık Damar – DİHA 

Esra Aydın – JİNHA

Geylan Arslan – JİNHA


Journalists arrested under State of Emergency, outside the coup probe 

Zeynel Abidin Bulut, Azadiya Welat 

Zehra Doğan, JİNHA 

List of media outlets shut down under State of Emergency decrees

TV Stations: Barış TV, Bugün TV, Can Erzincan TV, Dünya TV, Hira TV, Irmak TV, Kanal 124, Kanaltürk, MC TV, Mehtap TV, Merkür TV, Samanyolu Haber, Samanyolu TV, SRT TV, Tuna Shopping TV, Yumurcak TV.

News Agencies: Cihan Haber Ajansı, Muhabir Haber Ajansı and  SEM Haber Ajansı 

Newspapers: Adana Haber, Adana Medya, Akdeniz Türk, Şuhut’un Sesi, Kurtuluş, Lider, İscehisar, Durum, Türkeli, Antalya, Yerel Bakış, Nazar, Batman, Batman Postası, Batman Doğuş, Bingöl Olay, İrade, İskenderun Olay, Ekonomi, Ege’de Son Söz, Demokrat Gebze, Kocaeli Manşet, Bizim Kocaeli, Haber Kütahya, Gediz, Zafer, Hisar, Turgutlu Havadis, Milas Feza, Türkiye’de Yeni Yıldız, Hakikat, Urfa Haber Ajansı, Ajans 11, Yeni Emek, Banaz Postası, Son Nokta, Merkür Haber, Millet, Bugün, Meydan, Özgür Düşünce, Taraf, Yarına Bakış, Yeni Hayat, Zaman, Today’s Zaman.

Magazines: Akademik Araştırmalar, Aksiyon, Asya Pasifik, Bisiklet Çocuk, Diyalog, Avrasya, Ekolife, Ekoloji, Fountain, Gonca, Gül Yaprağı, Nokta, Sızıntı, Yağmur, Yeni Ümit, Zirve.

Radio stations: Aksaray Mavi, Aktüel, Berfin, Burç, Cihan, Dünya, Esra, Haber Radyo Ege, Herkül, Jest, Kanaltürk, Radyo 59, Radyo Aile Rehberi, Radyo Bamteli, Radyo Cihan, Radyo Fıkıh, Radyo Küre, Radyo Mehtap, Radyo Nur, Radyo Şemşik, Samanyolu Haber, Umut, Yağmur.

Publishing houses: Altınburç, Burak Basın Yayın Dağıtım, Define, Dolunay Eğitim Yayın Dağıtım, Giresun Basın Yayın Dağıtım, Gonca, Gülyurdu, GYV, Işık Akademi, Işık Özel Eğitim, İklim Basın Yayın Pazarlama, Kaydırak, Kaynak, Kervan Basın Yayıncılık, Kuşak, Muştu, Nil, Rehber, Sürat Basım Yayın Reklamcılık Eğitim Araçları, Sütun, Şahdamar, Ufuk Basın Yayın Haber Ajans Pazarlama, Ufuk, Waşanxaneya Nil, Yay Basın Dağıtım, Yeni Akademi, Yitik Hazine, Zambak Basın Yayın Eğitim Turizm


*Glossary of legal terms used in this text

Detain / Place in custody – To hold in police custody for police interrogation first, and later for testimony to a prosecutor. Might lead to a court appearance depending on the action taken by the prosecutor. 

Arrest – To put into prison indefinitely – by court order – pending trial. 

Released on probation – Released with an international flight ban issued. Usually entails checking in regularly with a designated police station. 


These lists have been compiled by P24 editors from open news sources and will be updated regularly. Journalists who want to report developments about themselves or their colleagues can contact us at punto24info@gmail.com 



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