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Number of journalists in Turkish prisons ‘cannot be determined,’ justice minister says

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It is not possible to “determine” the number of journalists in Turkish prisons, said Turkey’s justice minister in response to a parliamentary question on Saturday.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ responded to a parliamentary question submitted by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Adana deputy Meral Danış Beştaş in May. In his written response the minister said the exact number of journalists under arrest cannot be “determined” because the some of them call themselves journalists “even though they do not have a press card.”

“The records [current numbers] are based on prisoners’ statements. And therefore evaluating the situation based these statements would be wrong and incomplete because there can be people who claim to be journalists even though they have different professions, or journalists who may have declared different professions,” Bozdağ said.

Bozdağ also said the Justice Ministry gives the number of press card holders under arrest as three.

PEN International, a worldwide association of writers, has recently released the names of 145 journalists who were jailed by the Turkish government after a failed coup attempt on July 15.

According to the association, they managed to gather the list by cross-referencing the various sources available to them at present and will update it as more news emerges. The list only includes journalists and writers, not businessmen or those with financial interests in the media.

One hundred forty-nine journalists are behind bars, of whom four are currently detained without having been charged. Out of the remaining 145 journalists, 114 have been charged since the coup attempt; 31 were charged before the attempt; and 76 journalists were briefly arrested/detained after the coup attempt and have been released.

4 journalists currently detained without charges

Emre Koçali, Haberdar, in custody

Özcan Keser, TRT İstanbul, in custody

Mecrum Tokal, Azadiya Welat, in custody

İsmail Çoban, Azadiya Welat, in custody


145 journalists in custody and facing trial, 114 charged following the coup attempt

Abdullah Kılıç, Meydan Gazetesi columnist, under arrest

Abdullah Özyurt, Zaman reporter, under arrest

Ahmet Turan Alkan, Former Zaman columnist, under arrest

Ahmet Altan, Former editor-in-chief of Taraf daily, under arrest

Ahmet Yavaş, TRT (Erzurum), under arrest

Ahmet Memiş, Haberdar, under Arrest

Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Cihan Medya president, under arrest

Akın Atalay, chair of Cumhuriyet Foundation, under arrest

Alaattin Güner, former Cihan Medya director, under arrest

Ali Akkuş, former Zaman General Publications editor, under arrest

Ali Aşikar, Azadiya Welat reporter, under arrest

Ali Bulaç, former Zaman columnist, under arrest

Ali Ünal, Zaman columnist, under arrest

Arap Turan, Azadiya Welat, under arrest

Aslı Erdoğan, author, Özgür Gündem columnist, under arrest

Atilla Taş, Meydan columnist, under arrest

Ayşe Nazlı Ilıcak, Yarına Bakış columnist, under arrest

Ayhan Karahan, Bodrumca columnist, under arrest

Aytekin Gezici, under arrest

Ayşenur Parıldak, former Zaman correspondent, under arrest

Aziz İstegün, former Zaman Diyarbakır representative, under arrest

Bayram Kaya, Zaman, Yeni Hayat reporter, under arrest

Bayram Parlak,Radyo Cihan (Diyarbakır), under arrest

Bertan Golali, TRT İstanbul, under arrest

Bünyamin Köseli, former Aksiyon reporter, under arrest

Bülent Utku, Cumhuriyet daily board member, under arrest

Bilal Gündem, DİHA reporter, under arrest

Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, author, under arrest

Cemil Uğur, Evrensel reporter, under arrest

Cihan Acar, former Bugün reporter, under arrest

Cihat Ünal, Antalya Zaman reporter, under arrest

Cuma Kaya, Zaman writer, under arrest

Cuma Ulus, former publications coordinator for Millet daily, under arrest

Cumali Önal, former Zaman editor in charge of Arabic publications, under arrest

Eda Şanlı, owner and columnist of Bizim Antalya, under arrest

Emre Soncan, former Zaman defense reporter, under arrest

Ercan Gün, Fox TV news editor, under arrest

Erdem Mühirci, DİHA reporter, under arrest

Erdal Şen, Meydan editor, under arrest

Erkan Büyük, Haberdar, under arrest

Faruk Akkan, Cihan Ajansı, under arrest

Fevzi Yazıcı, Zaman visual director (formerly), under arrest

Ferit Toprak, Azadiya Welat, under arrest

Gültekin Avcı, Bugün, under arrest

Güray Öz, Cumhuriyet daily columnist, board member, under arrest

Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Türk Solu columnist, under arrest

Habip Güler, former Zaman reporter, under arrest

Hakan Taşdelen, under arrest

Hakan Kara, Cumhuriyet daily board member, under arrest

Halil İbrahim Mert, TRT (Erzurum), under arrest

Hanım Büşra Erdal, former Zaman reporter and columnist, under arrest

Haşim Söylemez, former Aksiyon magazine columnist, under arrest

Hüseyin Aydın, Cihan reporter, under arrest

Hülya Karakaya, Özgür Halk managing editor, under arrest

İbrahim Balta, former Zaman business editor, under arrest

İbrahim Karayeğen, former Zaman newsroom editor, under arrest

İdris Sayılgan, DİHA reporter, under arrest

İlker İlkan, Azadiya Welat, under arrest

Inan Kızılkaya, Özgür Gündem managing editor, under arrest

İsa Siyi, Haberdar, under arrest

Kadri Gürsel, Cumhuriyet daily columnist, advisor, under arrest

Kenan Baş, Antalya Zaman reporter, under arrest

Lokman Erdoğan, Çorum Manşet (local newspaper), under arrest

Mehmet Altan, author, economist, under arrest

Mehmet Anıl, ETHA reporter, under arrest

Mehmet Dener, Şanlıurfa.com, executive director

Mehmet Kuru, former Zaman Eskişehir reporter, under arrest

Mehmet Özdemir, Zaman writer, under arrest

Metin Bekiroğlu, DİHA, under arrest

Mizgin Çay, Radyo Karacadağ, under arrest

Muhammet Taşçılar, şanlıurfa.com editor, under arrest

Murat Avcıoğlu, author, under arrest

Murat Aksoy, Yarına Bakış columnist, under arrest

Murat Öztürk, Çorum Manşet, under arrest

Murat Sabuncu, Cumhuriyet daily editor-in-chief, under arrest

Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet daily cartoonist, board member, under arrest

Mustafa Erkan Acar, Cihan news agency, under arrest

Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Cumhuriyet daily board member, under arrest

Mustafa Ünal, Zaman daily columnist, under arrest

Mutlu Çölgeçen, Millet newsroom coordinator, under arrest

Mümtaz’er Türköne, former Zaman columnist, under arrest

Nuri Durna, TRT (Ezurum), under arrest

Nurullah Kaya, former Zaman Gaziantep representative, under arrest

Nizamettin Yılmaz, Azadiya Welat, under arrest

Olgun Matur, local Antalya journalist, under arrest

Osman Yakut, former Zaman Antalya reporter, under arrest

Özkan Mayda, Antalya Zaman reporter, under arrest

Önder Çelik, Cumhuriyet daily board member, under arrest

Sabahattin Koyuncu, DİHA, under arrest

Sadık Demir, Radyo Karacadağ, under arrest

Salih Erbekler, Radyo Karacadağ, under arrest

Seyid Kılıç, former TRT reporter, under arrest

Şahin Alpay, former Zaman columnist, under arrest

Şirin Çoban, Azadiya Welat, under arrest

Şeref Yılmaz, Irmak TV, under arrest

Togay Okay, Ozgur Gelecek reporter, under arrest

Tuncer Çetinkaya, Zaman Antalya, under arrest

Turhan Günay, Cumhuriyet daily literature supplement editor-in-chief, under arrest

Rabia Özkaya, Özgür Halk, under arrest

Rasul Cengiz, former Zaman Denizli reporter, under arrest

Ramazan Alkan, Yeni Akit reporter, under arrest

Rıfat Söylemez, Adana Günaydın (local newspaper), under arrest

Ufuk Şanlı, former Vatan columnist, under arrest

Vedat Demir, former Yarına Bakış columnist, under arrest

Vahit Yazgan, former Zaman İzmir representative, under arrest

Yakup Çetin, former Zaman reporter, under arrest

Yalçın Güler, TRT (Erzurum), under arrest

Yener Dönmez, Habervaktim news website, under arrest

Yetkin Yıldız, aktif haber news website, under arrest

Zana Bilir Kaya, Özgür Gündem editor-in-chief, under arrest

Zafer Özsoy, under arrest

Zeynel Abidin Bulut, Azadiya Welat, under arrest

Zehra Doğan, JİNHA, under arrest

(Turkey Purge)

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