Subuhaber | Imprisoned in Turkey | July 24, 2017

Beats Covered:Politics
Local or Foreign:Local
Length of Sentence:Not Sentenced
Reported Health Problems:No

A court on July 24, 2016, ordered Kuloğlu, the founder and publisher of news website Subuhaber, to be held in pretrial detention, according to news reports. His arrest was part of a sweeping purge of suspected followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen. The Turkish government accuses Gülen of maintaining a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" (FETÖ/PDY, as the government calls it) within Turkey that it alleges masterminded a failed July 15, 2016, military coup.

CPJ was unable to find details of the lawyer representing Kuloğlu or to determine the precise date that he was first detained.

Kuloğlu is on trial with several co-accused. In the original indictment, all but one were charged with "being a member of an armed [terrorist] organization," which carries up to 10 years in prison, according to news reports. The indictment accused the defendants of manipulating public perception of FETÖ to turn people against the government, which, prosecutors argued, made them members of the group.

CPJ found the indictment to be similar to those presented at trials of other journalists in Turkey. Prosecutors cited as evidence journalistic activity or acts of free speech and communication, or cited circumstantial evidence such as being employed by a certain media outlet or having an account at a bank allegedly linked to Gülenists.

In Kuloğlu's case, prosecutors cited as evidence the journalist's interview that he published in Subuhaber with an anonymous pro-Gülen whistleblower known as Fuat Avni (@fuatavni), who used Twitter to share his leaks, as well as reports about the whistleblower's tweets.

When the trial started in March 2017, an Istanbul court ordered Kuloğlu and several of the other journalists to be released while the case was heard, according to news reports. Prosecutors successfully appealed the decision, and authorities ordered an investigation into the judges who had ordered the release and they were relieved of duty, according to the reports.

Kuloğlu was being detained in Silivri Prison, Istanbul.

Kuloğlu did not appear on the 2016 prison census because CPJ identified Kuloğlu as a journalist only after the indictment against him and his co-accused became public in 2017.

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