The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has welcomed yesterday's release by
the Istanbul main court of Soner Yalcin, international journalist and owner of
the Odatv web news-site.
Soner Yalcin was first imprisoned in February 2011 along with nine other
journalists working for the news-site. They were accused of being involved in
the alleged 'Ergenekon' plot to over throw the government. The defendants
always maintained that the case was an excuse to bully independent and critical
journalists and an attack on press freedom.
One journalist, Yalcin Kucuk remains in prison along with former intelligence
officer Hanefi Avci.
The EFJ has been campaigning for the release of journalists jailed in Turkey
because of their work. At one stage in 2012 over 100 journalists were in
prison, and despite recent high-profile releases today there are still around
70 behind bars.
In some cases journalists have been held for many months, even for years,
on end awaiting trial. Some have been released in recent months, though the
charges still remain and the journalists, including Soner Yalcin, still have
the prospect of trials hanging over them.
EFJ President Arne König welcomed yesterday's news: "It is good to hear
that Soner Yalcin is now free, but our campaign for press freedom in Turkey
must continue. Still journalists are behind bars. Still the prospects of charges
and jail are used to stifle critical voices. We must ensure that our colleagues
in Turkey are not forgotten and that the struggle for media freedom in the
country will continue, until we see major changes from the recent
Find out more about the EFJ campaign to set Turkish journalists free at: http://europe.ifj.org/en/pages/turkey-campaign-set-journalists-free
For more information, please contact the EFJ
at +32 2 235.2200