After jailed media designer Fevzi Yazıcı was put in solitary confinement for refusing to admit to involvement with a fake document, veteran journalist and political scientist Mümtaz’er Türköne has also reportedly been put in solitary confinement by a Turkish court.
Türköne, a renowned columnist for the now-closed Zaman daily who is standing trial for alleged links to a coup attempt and membership in a terrorist organization due to his writings in the newspaper, was reportedly put in solitary confinement in İstanbul’s Silivri Prison.
He faces three aggravated life sentences and an additional 15 years’ imprisonment for the charges.
Abdulhamit Bilici, former editor-in-chief of Zaman who now lives in exile after fleeing Turkey, tweeted that “the intellectual Mümtaz’er Türköne, who wrote the defense of the Justice and Development Party [AKP] in a closure case in 2008, has been in jail for 17 months on absurd accusations. Now it is said that he has been put in solitary confinement. On the other hand, Yigit Bulut, who wrote ‘the AKP must be closed’ in those difficult times, is in the palace [Erdoğan’s Presidential Palace]. Don’t be silent about this lack of gratitude and this oppression!”
Bilici also stated on his Twitter account that Türköne (61) has been accused of terrorism and coup involvement because of nine of his critical columns that were published from December 2013 through March 2015.
Another indictment was also prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor that seeks a three-year sentence for Türköne on charges of threatening Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a column he wrote in February 2016.
An İstanbul court handed down a sentence of four years, two months to Türköne on charges that he threatened Erdoğan in one of his articles. The decision for conviction was made by the Bakırköy 2nd High Criminal Court. In his defense, Türköne denied having threatened Erdoğan and demanded his acquittal.
According to P24, over 150 journalists are behind bars in Turkey.