Journalist Evrim Kepenek released

Journalist Evrim Kepenek, who was detained in Istanbul yesterday, has been released on condition of judicial supervision.

Journalist Evrim Kepenek released



Journalist Evrim Kepenek, who was detained in Istanbul yesterday, has been released on condition of judicial supervision.


Five journalists were taken into custody in various cities in Turkey yesterday by order of the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in connection with reports regarding a mass trial against Kurdish media workers.

Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporter Delal Akyüz was detained in İzmir, MA correspondent Fırat Can Arslan and T24 editor Sibel Yükler in Ankara, Bianet's Women and LGBTI+ rights editor, Evrim Kepenek in Istanbul and journalist Evrim Deniz in Diyarbakır following police raids on their houses during the day.

The background to the case is reports of a political trial against 18 colleagues in Amed. 15 of the accused journalists, who work for Kurdish media, were held in pre-trial detention for over a year on vague "terror charges" in what was obviously a contrived trial without charges and were released on the first day of the trial a fortnight ago. The long detention was based on the false testimony of an anonymous witness.

The investigation against the journalists detained on Tuesday was triggered by Arslan's report, which brought attention to the marriage between one of the judges overseeing the Diyarbakır-based case against 18 Kurdish media workers and the prosecutor who prepared the indictment.

Following the release of the 16 journalists from prison on July 12, after a year in pretrial detention, the married judge and prosecutor were relocated from Diyarbakır to Samsun, according to Arslan's report.

Arslan had shared his report on Twitter, and the other three journalists retweeted it, leading to the current investigation by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

After the questioning of journalists at the police station concluded, MA correspondents Fırat Can Arslan and Delal Akyüz, and T24 editor Sibel Yükler were referred to court.

While Fırat Can Arslan was remanded in custody for "revealing the identity of a public official" and "marking a counterterrorism official as a target", Delal Akyüz, Sibel Yükler and Evrim Deniz were released on condition of judicial control.

Evrim Kepenek was brought to the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan this morning in metal handcuffs. Kepenek provided her statement to the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, which initiated the investigation, via video conference and was subsequently released.

During the hearing at the courthouse, her lawyer, Meriç Eyüboğlu, stated that "She cannot be accused due to another journalist's news, and the detention order is against the law."

Lawyer Ülkü Şahin also stated, "My client is a journalist, and she is being accused simply for retweeting another journalist's tweet." She further added that upon examining the case, it should result in a decision of non-prosecution as there is no evidence of a crime, and the social media post in question was part of journalistic activities.

After giving her statement, Kepenek was released with judicial supervision, which includes a monthly obligation to check in at a police station and an international travel ban.

After her release, Kepenek said, "I'm sorry for Turkey because I have experienced that retweeting can be considered a crime. Fırat Can Arslan's arrest for spreading newsworthy information is also shameful."

Title Photo: Bianet