It is a well-known fact that media organisations and journalists are under heavy pressure in Turkey. In the past, many media organisations have been closed down by the Erdoğan government and many journalists have been imprisoned.
On Wednesday 27 November 2023, Mehmet Kamış, a 35-year-old journalist and deputy editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper, which was shut down after being seized by the government on 4 March 2016, was detained and arrested by police.
An arrest warrant was issued for Mr Kamış, like many other journalists, after the coup attempt of 15 July 2016; an indictment was prepared in absence of Mr Kamış by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor and a heavy life sentence was requested.
The charges against Mr Kamış relate to his work for Zaman newspaper and his journalistic activities. According to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Yalçınkaya v. Turkey of 26 September 2002, the charges against him do not constitute a criminal offence.
More than 40 journalists are currently imprisoned in Turkey for writing and speaking out against the regime. These include journalists Mehmet Baransu, Hidayet Karaca and Gültekin Avcı, who have been in prison for more than 8 years.
The International Journalists Association (IJA) calls on the Turkish authorities to release the journalists immediately and calls on journalist organisations and the public to support the release of journalists held in Turkish prisons.
International Journalists Association e.V.