Turkey: Journalists sentenced and fined for ‘propaganda’

Two employees of Turkey’s Express periodical have been convicted of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”. Journalist Irfan Aktan was sentenced to 15 months in prison while editorial manager Merve Erol was fined TL 16,000 (€ 8,000). The charges stem from an article published last September entitled “Weather conditions in the Qandil region/No solution without fighting”. The Qandil mountains are home to camps run by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and several high-ranking members of the militant organisation. The journalists’ defence argued the article was written at a time when the discussions about the Kurdish initiative had just started and when PKK members had started to surrender.