The new Turkey
Hakan Gülseven
Columnist for the Yurt daily

24-Jan-2019 11:18

20 December 2018:

Journalist jailed over unpaid fines

Hakan Gülseven, a journalist who used to work for the pro-opposition (CHP) daily Yurt, was imprisoned on December 20 (2018) after failing to pay 31,500 Turkish lira (US$5,974) in three unpaid fines over charges of insult, the news website Artı Gerçek reported.

In Turkey, unpaid fines are converted into prison time, with 20 Turkish lira equating to one day in prison. Onur Güneş, a lawyer representing the journalist, told Artı Gerçek that the fines equal about four years and five months in prison. CPJ documented in June 2017 how Gülseven was imprisoned for a day over an unpaid fine, but released when the fine was paid.

21 June 2018:

Hakan Gülseven, a former columnist for the daily Yurt, which is pro-the Republican People's Party (CHP), was jailed for one night after his outlet did not pay a fine, the independent news website Bianet reported. A court convicted Gülseven of "insulting" a governor in his column, and sentenced the journalist to a 7,000 Turkish lire (US$1,470) fine, or 350 days in prison, according to the report. Gülseven was imprisoned on June 19, and released the following day after the fine was paid.

19 June 2018:

Yurt daily columnist sent to prison over ‘offensive column’: report

Hakan Gülseven, a Turkish columnist for the Yurt daily, was sent to prison on Tuesday in Balıkesir province after the daily failed to pay a fine resulting from an earlier conviction over an “offensive column” Gülseven wrote in 2014.

According to the Cumhuriyet daily, Gülseven wrote a column criticizing the former Sakarya Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş and then handed down an 11 month, 20 day jail sentence, which the court later commuted to a TL 7,000 fine.

After the daily failed to pay the fine, Gülseven was detained by Balıkesir police on Tuesday and then sent to Burhaniye Prison in Balıkesir later the same day for a total of 350 days.*