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Nearly 70 journalists prosecuted for covering corruption investigation

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 6 January 2015.

Türkçe / Read in Turkish

The parliamentary commission that has been investigating corruption allegations involving former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's cabinet for more than a year decided by majority yesterday [5 January 2015] not to pursue the investigation into the four former ministers concerned.

This decision has the effect of ending the ban on media coverage of the commission's hearings, which an Ankara court imposed on 25 November and which many of the most critical media had ignored.

More than 70 Turkish media representatives are currently the subject of judicial proceedings for referring to the corruption allegations against these close associates of the former prime minister, who is now the president.

The targeted journalists include well-known TV presenter Sedef Kabas, who was detained for questioning in Istanbul on 30 December after sending a tweet criticizing Judge Hadi Salioglu for closing a corruption investigation in October. Her mobile phone and other equipment were seized during a search of her home.

Released on a judge's order despite a prosecutor's attempt to keep her under judicial control, she has also received threats from members of the ruling AKP party.

Mehmet Baransu, an opposition journalist who writes for the newspaper Taraf, was arrested for the fourth time on 30 December for severely criticizing Mustafa Varank, one of President Erdogan's advisers, in a tweet.

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