[UPDATE] Journalist Güven arrested over traffic accident headline

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Oğuz Güven hugs his daughter Demet Güven Akyıldız at the İstanbul Courthouse, three days after his detention.

Cumhuriyet’s website editor Oğuz Güven, who was detained on May 12 for a report that appeared on the daily’s website about the recent traffic death of Denizli Chief Prosecutor Mustafa Alper in Turkey’s western province of Denizli, was arrested by an Istanbul on Monday, DHA reported.

According to the report, Güven, who was taken to the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan following processing at police headquarters, was referred to court after his testimony to a prosecutor.

“Nothing can be done about this state of decay,” Günay said in reaction to the ruling for his arrest before being taken to Metris Prison in İstanbul.

On Sunday, jurists expressed reactions to the “unlawful detention” of Oğuz, calling for the immediate release of the journalist.

The European Union on Saturday reacted to the detention of Güven, calling on Turkey to respect the highest democratic standards and practices.

Güven was detained early Friday due to a report that appeared on the newspaper’s website about the recent traffic death of a public prosecutor in the western province of Denizli.

“I am being taken into custody,” Güven tweeted on Friday without elaborating on the charges directed against him.

It later emerged that Güven’s detention was related to a report about the death of Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Alper in a traffic accident on Wednesday. Güven is accused of disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization.

According to Turkish media reports, detention warrants were also issued for 32 readers who left comments under the relevant story.

Cumhuriyet’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu was in early November arrested along with eight other Cumhuriyet columnists and executives for allegedly committing crimes on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Meanwhile, former Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar earlier moved to Germany after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally targeted him for a sensational report in Cumhuriyet about alleged illegal arms deliveries by Turkey to opposition groups in Syria.

Rights organizations estimate the number of jailed journalists in Turkey as between 160 and 235.

Amnesty International recently projected the names of imprisoned Turkish journalists onto the facade of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague.

AI also launched a campaign on Twitter late in March to support jailed journalists in Turkey, calling for their release, with the hashtag #FreeTurkeyMedia.

Turkey is ranked 155th among 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on April 26.

If Turkey falls four more ranks, it will make it to the list of the countries on the blacklist, which has the poorest records in press freedom.

The US-based Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world, has named Turkey as among the countries that have a “not free” press, in a report released on April 28.

According to “Freedom of the Press 2017,” the Turkish government, using enhanced powers under a state of emergency, carried out a massive purge of media outlets accused of links to the attempted military coup in July.

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