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Journalist Yıldız given jail time, deprived of parental rights over posting videos of MİT trucks hearings

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A Mersin court has sentenced journalist Arzu Yıldız to 20 months’ imprisonment and deprived her of parental rights over posting videos on social media that show prosecutors — who currently face trial for ordering search of trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in January, 2014 — defend themselves in court.

The footages Yıldız posted on her YouTube account show prosecutors Süleyman Bağrıyanık, Özcan Şişman and Aziz Takçı defend themselves during hearings of the MİT trucks case held by Tarsus 2nd High Criminal Court in the southern province of Mersin.

The Tarsus 5th Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced Yıldız to a year and 8 months in prison, while imposing TL 12.600 suspended fine on news portal Grihat.com for featuring the videos released by Yıldız.

During a previous hearing of the journalist Yıldız’s case, she stated there are many videos on YouTube that insult prosecutors who gave orders to stop and search MİT trucks on Jan. 19, 2014. She then asked why the people who release those videos do not also face trial.

A Penal Court of Peace blocked access to the videos Yıldız posted on her YouTube account, although no investigations have been opened for the videos insulting the prosecutors.

“I thank everyone for their messages and support. I have no worries. I don’t care about whatever punishment they give me. I’m just doing my job,” Yıldız posted on her Twitter account over the court’s decision.

In January 2014, a number of trucks, which were found to belong to the MİT, were stopped by gendarmes in two separate incidents in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana, after prosecutors received tipoffs that they were carrying arms to Syria.

Although the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has claimed that the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in Syria, opposition voices have continued to question why, if the operation was within the law, the government intervened to prevent the trucks from being searched.

Four former prosecutors and a former gendarme officer were imprisoned after a court ordered their arrest due to their role in the search of trucks allegedly carrying weapons to opposition groups in Syria, a move that came shortly after government figures, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accused the officials of “treason and espionage.”

A case was filed against those involved in the investigation and an indictment, which was approved by the Tarsus High Criminal Court in July 2015, seeks a life sentence for Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Süleyman Bağrıyanık, former Adana Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Ahmet Karaca and Adana prosecutors Aziz Takçı and Özcan Şişman, as well as Gendarmerie Commander Col. Özkan Çokay, who were involved in the investigation.

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