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Editor faces five years in prison for "revealing information on state security"

(BIANET/IFEX) - Demir, an editor for the Istanbul-based national daily "Taraf", has been charged with "revealing information on state security". He could face 5 years behind bars if found guilty by Istanbul's 13th High Criminal Court.

Fikret Secen, the Istanbul prosecutor of the republic, finalised the investigation against Demir, upon the request of the armed forces chief of staff and charged the editor with violating Article 329 of the Turkish Penal Code.

"Taraf" newspaper criticised the military authorities for being negligent during the October 2008 Kurdish guerrilla Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) raid on the Aktütün gendarme post in the rugged mountainous area of the southeast Hakkari province. During the raid, 17 foot soldiers lost their lives. Local military authorities were sharply criticised for having neglected necessary defence measures despite receiving intelligence days before the attack.

The 7 January 2009 issue of "Taraf" appeared with headlines threatening to "go to a tribunal to demand accountability for the lives of 17 soldiers."

In his indictment, Prosecutor Secen charged the newspaper with violating the chief of staff's Military Tribunal order banning the publication of information on the Aktütün incident.

The military court ban was issued after heavy threats from the Turkish Armed Forces chief of staff, General Ilker Basbug, who, instead of responding to the criticisms, warned that those "who leaked and used the secret information" would be punished.

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