Turkey jails six ‘Marxist’ journalists for life

ISTANBUL – An Istanbul court has sentenced six Turkish journalists to life in prison on charges of belonging to a banned Marxist group, media watchdogs said Tuesday.

Among those affected by the court ruling handed down late Monday is Fusun Erdogan, who holds dual Turkish and Dutch citizenship and is director of Ozgur Radio, which broadcasts in Kurdish.

Erdogan, who has been detained since 2006, and five other defendants were charged with belonging to the banned Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).

The party is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey.

The European Federation of Journalists in a statement denounced the verdict as “absurd”, saying it illustrated the Turkish government’s bid to control power.

“The verdict is a disgrace to the Turkish judicial system and an expression of the absolute power of the government,” it said. “It further shows that the regime does not tolerate any criticism.”

Turkey has long been criticised for a lack of press freedom.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) last year named it a “leading jailer of journalists”, identifying 76 who were in prison, 61 of them purely for their journalism.

But activists say the situation has deteriorated since the unrest that broke out earlier this year over the planned redevelopment of a park and evolved into mass protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seen as increasingly authoritarian.




  5 comments for “Turkey jails six ‘Marxist’ journalists for life

  1. Hulya Unalan
    November 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Stop mess the Government of Erdogan with characters in the pay of the former fanatic Government of maconnisme and who is willing to do anything to retrieve their place! This same Government before Erdogan instead of stop journalists or opposition to the plans them murdered… What makes Erdogan is stop them leaving justice make its working… This is called democracy! This kind of propaganda can be denounced by the enemies of the Turkey!

    • EE
      November 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

      … and so many things you might say; if you could have written in English….

  2. DDurga
    November 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    What Hulya Unalan is trying to say is governments bfore AKP were entangled with “deep-state” and they killed the opposing journalists instead of jailing them. So, now that Erdogan eliminated them (by jailing them for life, too; how convenient) we should settle with the lesser evil…
    Actually it is a kind of improvement. Now we can see the “evil” out in the open. So we might have a shot to take it down. But it will take a long long time for Turkish people to recognise and digest the notion of democracy, comment above proves it. Of course it would only be possible if the regime does not turn into sharia soon. And all the signs show that it is going into that direction.

    • Kasatura
      November 7, 2013 at 11:56 am

      “Maconnisme” – I think she means freemasons.

  3. Süha Karamazov
    November 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    akp also continues to murder… nothing has changed in murdering the people who are a threat to the governments’ hypocracies… the “deep state”… oh yes, it has changed… now r.t.erdoğan controls it and uses it to his own good. the fact is that %50 of turkey who shows their complete respect and obedience to akp are having a good time and they really may become more free. but the %50 opposition is facing the most brutal pressure in turkish history ever!

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