On April 25, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) editor Abdurrahman Gök, agency reporters Ahmet Kanbal and Mehmet Şah Oruç, Yeni Yaşam Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Osman Akın, Kurdish weekly Xwebûn newspaper’s concessionaire Kadri Esen, JINNEWS reporter Beritan Canözer, journalists Mehmet Yalçın, Salih Keleş, Mikail Barut and Remzi Akkaya were detained in a Diyarbakır-based investigation.
Journalists Beritan Canözer, Mehmet Şah Oruç, Abdurrahman Gök, Mikail Barut and Remzi Akkaya were arrested by the court on charges of “illegal organization membership” on “strong suspicion of guilt” in a case based on witness statements (9 May).
Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office prepared an indictment against Oruç on charges of “illegal organization membership” (TCK 314/2) and “making propaganda for an illegal organization” (TMK 7/2) through an investigation based on witness statements. Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court ruled “lack of jurisdiction” and sent the indictment to Bitlis, where Oruç resides. Bitlis 2nd High Criminal Court accepted the indictment (July 31).
The first hearing of the case was held on September 14, 2023 at Bitlis 2nd Assize Court. Oruç made the following statements in his defense: “Our news is public and everyone can read it. In my HTS records, the people I made phone calls with are friends from the same agency. How can this be a crime? How can my conversation with the editor-in-chief be a crime?”