Hurriyet’s zkk faces 2.5 years in prison for ‘insulting’ senior AK Party official in column

A case was filed against Handurriyet daily columnist Ertuirul andOzkandOk on charges of insulting Justice and Development Party (AK Party) executive and deputy Sanduleyman Soylu in a column he wrote, with the prosecutor seeking up to two years and eight months in prison for the columnist.
An indictment prepared by the BakirkandOy Chief Public Prosecutorandrsquos Office said a criminal complaint was filed against andOzkandOk by Soyluandrsquos lawyer, claiming that the columnist and”committed the crimes of insult and slanderand” against his client in a column dated July 25. The indictment accused andOzkandOk only with insult on the grounds that there was no element of slander in the column.
The prosecutor asked the court to sentence andOzkandOk to up to two years and eight months in prison.
In his column titled and”Who gave the order to kill?and” andOzkandOk criticized Soylu for showing the owner of Dogan Media Group, which also includes Handurriyet, as target with his claims that Dogan is a defender of the terrorist Kurdistan Workersandrsquo Party (PKK).
and”To whom should we complain about this man?and” andOzkandOk asked referring to Soylu.
In May, Soylu openly threatened Dogan, saying: and”I am addressing you, Aydin Dogan. You too will pay the price for what you have done.and” It is very common for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and government officials to single out journalists and target them publicly due to their criticism of the government or Erdogan. Journalists in Turkey have been placed under such great pressure after being detained or having charges filed against them that it has almost become impossible for them to do their jobs.
The deterioration of press freedom in Turkey is also expressed by international organizations. US-based watchdog Freedom House downgraded Turkey from and”Partly Freeand” to and”Not Freeand” in its and”Freedom of the Press 2014and” report, citing a and”significant declineand” in press freedom in Turkey. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Turkey 149th out of 180 countries in its latest press freedom index.


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