Jailed Turkish politician barred from activities for launching hunger strike
Turkish prison officials punished a jailed former member of parliament for starting a hunger strike to protest his pre-trial detention, a lawmaker of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said on Sunday.
Eren Erdem, a journalist-turned-CHP MP, began his hunger strike on Jan. 29 after a Turkish court rejected his lawyer’s appeal for his release. The 32-year-old former lawmaker, pending trial, is charged with links to the Gülen movement, which Ankara designates a terrorist organisation and accuses of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt.
As punishment for being on hunger strike, Erdem has been barred from attending sports activities in prison for one month, Barış Yarkadaş, a CHP lawmaker said on Twitter.
According to an indictment prepared by a Turkish prosecutor, Erdem faces 8.5 to 19 years behind bars for “aiding a terrorist organisation,” “revealing the identity of a secret witness,” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation," over publishing illegal wiretappings when he was the editor of an opposition newspaper. Source
Eren Erdem rearrested after court overseeing “Karşı trial” orders his release
The “Karşı newspaper trial,” where 11 defendants, including the former publisher of the shuttered daily, Turan Ababey, and the newspaper’s former employees, including its one-time editor-in-chief Eren Erdem, stand accused of various criminal charges on account of their work with the newspaper, resumed on 7 January in Istanbul.
Erdem, who is also a former main opposition CHP MP, has been jailed pending trial since late June as part of this case. The case, overseen by the 23rd High Criminal Court of Istanbul, is the outcome of an investigation into Karşı that was launched on the grounds that the newspaper had revealed leaked tapes as part of the graft probes targeting the government in 2013, publicly known as “17-25 December.” Erdem addressed the court during the hearing from the Silivri Prison via SEGBIS.
The prosecution submitted their final opinion of the case during the hearing, requesting that Erdem be given up to 19 years in prison in total on the charges of “aiding an armed terrorist organization without being its member” and “violating the confidentiality [of an investigation] by way of revealing the identity of an anonymous witness.” They also requested the continuation of Erdem’s detention on remand.
Requesting the acquittal of defendants Turan Ababey, Kutlu Esendemir and Mehmet Bozkurt of the charge “knowingly and willingly aiding an armed terrorist organization,” the prosecution also asked that the files of defendants Değer Özergün, Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Mehmet Aydoğmuş, Murat Kazancı and Emrah Direk, whose statements have yet to be taken because they are at large, be separated.
Issuing an interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to release Eren Erdem under judicial control measures and adjourned the trial until 1 March for the final defense statements in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion to be prepared.
However, the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of Istanbul filed an objection to Erdem’s release pending trial the same day and the 24th High Criminal Court of Istanbul, the next court of first instance, issued an arrest warrant against Erdem.
On 8 January, the 24th High Criminal Court held an interim hearing, where Erdem and his lawyers gave their statements in response to the arrest warrant. The court ruled with a majority opinion at the end of the hearing to send Erdem back to prison.
Karşı newspaper trial gets under way after two files merged
Former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Eren Erdem was arrested by the İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court on Friday after he was detained by police the night before over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
An İstanbul prosecutor had been conducting an investigation into Erdem’s work as a journalist while he was editor-in-chief of the Karşı daily.
Erdem has been accused of “aiding a terrorist organization without membership in it,” “revealing the identity of a secret witness” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation” in an indictment approved by the court in May.
The Karşı daily had published wiretaps of suspects in a police investigation into then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s close circle on accusations of bribery and corruption in 2013. Erdem’s passport was confiscated by police at an İstanbul airport in May following issuance of the indictment, which seeks from nine years, six months to 22 years in prison.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, in response to the arrest on Friday said, “One has to expect anything in a dictatorial regime.” “The court has ruled that Eren Erdem’s trial will be on Sept. 19,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters.
29 June 2018 - CHP MP Eren Erdem Arrested
İstanbul MP of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Eren Erdem, who was not nominated as MP candidate at the 27th term presidential election on June 24 and was taken into custody in Ankara today (June 29), was referred to the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.
Erdem, who was taken to İstanbul early this morning, appeared before judge at the İstanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court. At the hearing of Erdem, which was also watched by several MPs of the CHP, the attorney Onur Cıngıl made his defence regarding the case.
Eren Erdem was arrested after the defence of his attorney.
"I am being tried due to the lies of A Haber"
In his statement of defence, Eren Erdem said,
"Though I previously proved at the court that I did not make the statement, 'If Turkey and Iran go to war, I will side with Iran', they are still telling the same lie. Using this lie on purpose is a sign of malicious intention. I did not post such a tweet, which was also confirmed by the court.
"I have been acquitted of the case of Sarin Gas, over which the media sparked such a big storm. But, they are acting as if I am still being tried at that case. If one penny was given to the Karşı newspaper by the FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, which is held responsible for the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016], condemn me to death. I am being tried due to the lies of the [pro-government] A Haber news channel."
A lawsuit was filed against Eren Erdem at İstanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court due to his works at Karşı newspaper, of which Erdem was the chief editor.
Erdem faces a prison sentence of 9.5 years to 22 years on charges of "knowingly and willingly aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member", "revealing the identity of an anonymous witness" and "violating the confidentiality of the investigation."
It was previously ruled that the first hearing of Erdem be held at 10 a.m. on September 19, 2018.
After the indictment of the case was accepted by the court, Eren Erdem could not go to Germany on May 21 due to the international travel ban imposed on him. (EKN/HK/SD) Source