Prominent Turkish journalist arrested on accusations of revealing state secrets

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Müyesser Yıldız (R) and İsmail Dükel

A Turkish court has jailed a prominent journalist from an online news outlet pending trial on accusations that she revealed state secrets in two articles about Ankara’s military involvement in Libya, her lawyer said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Müyesser Yıldız, the Ankara news editor for the OdaTV online news website, was detained on Monday and formally arrested on Thursday following questioning.

One article published in December questioned which Turkish commanders met with Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, which is fighting the internationally recognized Government of National Accord of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, backed by Turkey.

The second article, from January, gave details about a military officer who was sent to Libya to oversee Turkey’s involvement there.

Yıldız was initially detained on espionage charges, but this was later changed to revealing state secrets, lawyer Erhan Tokatlı told Reuters.

“If the articles threaten the security of this country so much, they should have blocked access to them,” he said.

İsmail Dükel, the Ankara representative of broadcaster TELE1 who was also detained along with Yıldız and questioned, was released, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said. An army sergeant detained with them was also jailed, it said without elaborating.

OdaTV, an online news outlet, has been critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government. Turkey ranks among the top jailers of journalists worldwide.

Yıldız is widely known for her pieces scrutinizing the government narrative on a 2016 coup attempt, which allowed Erdoğan to seize vast powers, according to the Turkish media.

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