Kurdish journalist sued over social media posts

Repressive measures against the Kurdish press continues unabated in Turkey, the world’s largest prison for journalists.

Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has filed a lawsuit against Kurdish journalist Mehmet Erol, accusing him of "spreading terror propaganda" on Twitter between 2013 and 2015 and the social media posts he circulated as an employee of the press office of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP).

The indictment prepared by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and accepted the 10th Heavy Penal Court does not specify the dates of Erol’s posts but claims that he committed the offense of “spreading terror propaganda by praising, trying to legitimize and supporting the acts of violence of the terrorist organization”, referring to the PKK.

While up to seven and a half years prison sentence is sought for the Kurdish journalist, it is still unclear when the trial will begin.

The Free Journalists' Initiative (ÖGI) announced on December 3 that 139 journalists are currently in prison in Turkey due to their journalistic activities and said: "It is impossible to speak of freedom of the press in Turkey".

After the ÖGİ report for the month of November, three more journalists were imprisoned; Mesopotamia News Agency (MA) reporters Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu and DIHA correspondent Hacı Yusuf Topaloğlu who were also accused of “membership to a terrorist organization” because of their journalistic activities.