17 February 2011


Police in Istanbul raid dissident website's offices, journalists' homes

Incident details


OdaTV, Internet/website


Soner Yalcin, Journalist
Baris Terkoglu, Editor
Ayhan Bozkurt, Writer
Baris Pehlivan, Writer
(IPI/IFEX) - 16 February 2011 - Turkish police have raided the offices and homes of four journalists associated with dissident news website OdaTV amid accusations that they were part of a plot to overthrow the government, the International Press Institute (IPI) has learned from its Turkish National Committee.

Police in Istanbul seized documents as well as computers in the raid on Monday, which was ordered by prosecutors investigating the alleged secularist "Ergenekon" conspiracy.

Police later detained the website's owner, investigative journalist Soner Yalcin, along with OdaTV news editor Baris Terkoglu and writers Ayhan Bozkurt and Baris Pehlivan.

Turkish authorities have accused hundreds of politicians, retired military officers, academics and journalists of participating in the Ergenekon plot, which allegedly called for assassinations and attacks that would create chaos and lead to calls for the military to take power from the current government headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Leaders of Turkey's armed forces have denied the plot's existence.

Ferai Tinc, the head of IPI's Turkish National Committee, condemned the raid and the detentions, commenting: "The actions of police in raiding OdaTV, searching the homes of journalists and seizing documents is a situation which cannot be accepted in terms of press freedom. We believe this operation, which is said to be related to an ongoing court case, is intended to silence opposition voices. While the termination of press organizations can be realised through legal means, we consider this operation a restriction on freedom of the press."

Anthony Mills, IPI's Press & Communications Manager, added: "We are concerned at suggestions that these raids may be in response to critical journalism, rather than any concrete criminal acts. A diverse media environment, characterised by differing viewpoints, and criticism, is a cornerstone of any democracy."


Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.

More from Turkey
  • Justice Monitoring Report: Freedom of expression trials in Turkey

    Given the unprecedented number of journalists in prison in Turkey at the moment and the increas- ing number of freedom of expression trials, trial monitoring has become an important activity for Turkish civil society over the past few years.

  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Turkey

    Wikipedia was permanently blocked over articles on Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Turkey

    The government, using enhanced powers under a state of emergency, carried out a massive purge of media outlets accused of links to an attempted military coup in July.

At this point, would publish: "Home page"
At this point, would publish: "Oda TV journalists arrested on dubious evidence, says lawyer"
At this point, would publish: "Writers and journalists arrested following police raids"
At this point, would publish: "Journalists sent back to detention"
At this point, would publish: "RSF travels to Istanbul, monitors trial of leading investigative journalists"
At this point, would publish: "International mission delegates renew demand to release imprisoned journalists"
At this point, would publish: "Journalists' trial moves forward"
At this point, would publish: "Journalist, in poor health, is released pending trial"
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.