Turkey jails prominent journalist over propaganda charge

ISTANBUL, June 27 Reuters – A Turkish court on Tuesday jailed the chief editor of an opposition TV channel pending trial on a charge of spreading terrorist propaganda, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Police detained Merdan Yanardag on Monday for “praising criminals” and “spreading terrorist propaganda” after he criticized the prison isolation of Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group.

“The isolation of Abdullah Ocalan is unlawful and should be lifted,” Yanardag had said on a television programme last week. He has since denied any wrongdoing.

Turkish special forces captured Ocalan in Kenya in 1999 and he has since been held in an island prison south of Istanbul. The PKK, which he founded, launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which continued after Ocalan was jailed.

Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog has also launched an inquiry into the opposition channel, Tele1, which aired Yanardag’s comments.

The Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC) said in a statement that Yanardag’s detention violated the right of freedom of expression.

Reporting by Burcu Karakas;
Editing by Daren Butler, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link