Prosecutor seeks up to 20 years in jail for 2 arrested Nokta editors

Nokta magazine Editor-in-Chief Cevheri Guven and Managing Editor Murat Capan, who were detained by the İstanbul Police Department after the latest issue of the publication was pulled from the shelves on Nov. 2, were arrested by the İstanbul 8th Penal Court of Peace on Nov. 3 under Article 313 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) for inciting the public to armed conflict.

Prosecutor Tepe recently prepared his indictment, in which he seeks imprisonment from 15 to 20 years for Guven and Capan, due to a story titled “2 Kasım Pazartesi: Turkiye İc Savası’nın baslangıcı” (Monday Nov. 2: The beginning of a civil war in Turkey) published in the magazine following the Nov. 1 snap election. Recalling that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) received 49 percent of the vote during the snap election, the prosecutor lodged charges of “sabotaging a democratically held election, provoking a part of the population against the government to be established with the current president and inciting people to launch an armed rebellion against the Republic of Turkey” against the two editors in the indictment.

A day after the election on Nov. 1 that gave the AK Party enough votes to once again form a single-party government, police notified Nokta of a decision by İstanbul 5th Penal Court of Peace Judge Cevdet Ozcan to pull the publication from the shelves. Ozcan also ordered the detention of the two Nokta editors and banned access to the Nokta website.

Nokta, which is known for its critical stance toward the government, announced the decision on its website on Nov. 2, saying the police had confiscated all the magazines at its headquarters and started collecting issues at distribution centers.

Nokta’s cover features a picture of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and says Nov. 2 is the “start of Turkey’s civil war.”

It was not the first time that Nokta had been targeted by the government due to its critical stance against the AK party and Erdogan. The magazine was raided by the police as part of a government-initiated operation on Sept. 14, its distribution was halted and Managing Editor Capan was detained because the magazine featured a cover showing a dramatization of a selfie taken by a smiling Erdogan with a flag-draped coffin of a soldier in the background. The cover was a reaction to Erdogan’s remarks during a soldier’s funeral: “We bid a farewell to our martyr who we believe has reached martyrdom. How happy is his family, how happy are his nearest and dearest!”

However, the raids seem to have backfired, as many Twitter users shared the cover in question and it was widely circulated on social media. A large number of Twitter users condemned the crackdown on Nokta as an attempt by the government to muzzle critical media outlets.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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