Journalist Semiha Alankuş on 13 February appeared before a court in Diyarbakır on the charge of “membership in a terrorist group.” Alankuş was taken into custody and then released in October as part of a sweeping operation targeting journalists and others across nine provinces.
Alankuş and her lawyer Resul Tamur attended the hearing at the 9th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır. Addressing the court for her defense statement, Alankuş rejected the accusation and requested for her acquittal.
Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court lifted part of the judicial control measures imposed on Alankuş, the one that required her to report to a police station on a regular basis to give her signature. The court ruled for the continuation of the international travel ban imposed on the journalist and adjourned the trial, awaiting the results of the ongoing examination on her digital devices.
15 October 2018: 5 Journalists Detained in Diyarbakır Released.
Journalists Abdurrahman Gök, Lezgin Akdeniz, Cihan Ölmez, Esra Solin Dal and Semiha Alankuş, who were taken into custody in Diyarbakır on October 9 and referred to courthouse, have been released.
Journalists Abdurrahman Gök, Lezgin Akdeniz, Cihan Ölmez, Esra Solin Dal and Semiha Alankuş, who were detained in house raids conducted as part of a Diyarbakır-based operation launched in eight provinces on October 9, have been released after giving their depositions at the courthouse.
9 October 2018:
Journalists Abdurrahman Gök, Esra Solin Dal and Lezgin Akdeniz (Mezopotamya news agency), Semiha Alankuş (Yeni Yaşam newspaper), Cihan Ölmez and Mehmet Akdoğan, Yeni Yaşam distributor Savaş Aslan, and HDP press department employee Vedat Dağ were among 70 people that also included politicians and activists referred to the Diyarbakır Courthouse on Friday.
Dal, Alankuş and Akdoğan, as well as 17 others were released under judicial control measures. Journalists Gök, Ölmez and Akdeniz were among those who were released following police interrogation without being referred to the courthouse. Twelve others were referred to a court for arrest on the charge of “terrorist group membership.”