Fevzi Yazici, Zaman
Imprisoned:July 30-August 4, 2016

Turkish authorities issued a warrant for the detention of Fevzi Yazici, the 44-year-old layout editor of the shuttered newspaper Zaman, on July 27, 2016. Court records reviewed by CPJ do not mention the date police detained him, but Yazici sent an email to a professional contact on July 30, 2016, suggesting he was still free at some point on that date.

Istanbul's Third Court of Penal Peace on August 4, 2016, ordered Yazici jailed, pending trial on charges of being a follower of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" (FETÖ/PDY, by its Turkish acronym) and of masterminding a July 15, 2016, failed military coup.

According to court records seen by CPJ, Yazici told the court that he started his career at the weekly Aksiyon, and later joined the daily Zaman as its chief page designer. The government ordered both publications closed by decree using emergency powers it assumed after the failed military coup, asserting they had links to FETÖ/PDY. The court concluded that there was a strong suspicion that Yazici was a member of FETÖ/PDY because he worked in media outlets that were "within the structure of FETÖ/PDY's media arm."

Yazici, under questioning, told the court that he did not know who owned Aksiyon. He said that he did not know whether Zaman had ever criticized Gülen-whom he admitted having met at one of the preacher's sermons in the United States, where he is exiled-and that he was responsible only for laying out the newspaper's pages.

The court ordered the designer jailed in Istanbul's Silivri prison. As of late 2016, Yazici had not been indicted, and no date had been set for his trial.

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