Journalist Güven sentenced to 3 years for a tweet

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Journalist Oğuz Güven

Cumhuriyet daily website editor Oğuz Güven was sentenced to three years, one month for a tweet concerning the death of Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alperen in a traffic accident, Cumhuriyet reported.

The Istanbul 28th High Criminal Court sentenced Güven to one year, 10 months, 15 days for disseminating the propaganda of the Gülen movement, and one year, two months, 17 days for publishing the statements of a terrorist organization.

“Truck mows down Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper, who prepared the first indictment of Fetö [a derogatory term coined by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to refer to the Gülen movement],” the official Twitter account of the Cumhuriyet daily announced when informing people about the accident on May 10, 2017.

Due to reactions the tweet was deleted 55 seconds after posted, but Güven was arrested on May 15 and released after 30 days by an İstanbul court.

“This ruling is evidence of the mowing down of justice in Turkey. Justice has been mowed down,” said Güven in his first reaction to the court ruling.

Cumhuriyet’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu was in early November 2016 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 more than 150.
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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