Turkey: Journalist faces 9 charges, 79 years in prison

Turkish journalist Ismail Saymez could be jailed for 79 years if convicted of charges related to newspaper articles he has written.  He has been charged with “violating the secrecy of an investigation” for his reporting on the Ergenekon trials. He also faces charges of “insult” and “attempt to influence a fair trial.”  According to The International Press Institute National Committee, Saymez stated, “I only do my job as a reporter, inform the public on the events that the public is interested in, and supply them with objective information. I do not try to influence in any way. They sue me with imprisonment of tens of years on every word my newspaper reports.”

Among the articles at issue are “What Prosecutor Cihaner was asked”  of 18 February, “Assassination with a tick, coup of the tea vendors” of 12 February 2010, “Cihaner: I do not know Çiçek, I did not see him – Ciçek: I do not know anybody in Erzincan” of 20 February, “Did you meet Dursun Çiçek?” of 22 February, and  “Love games in Ergenekon – The Ergenekon prosecutor also took the judge’s statement” published 8 June.  These articles were published in the newspaper Radikal.

His first hearing is to take place on 28 January 2011.