Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2004

03 June 2004
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 03 June 2004.
Turkish Cypriot journalists face military court for insulting army
"FIVE Turkish Cypriot journalists and a media group official face a military court on charges of insulting the Turkish army that could see them serving prison sentences ranging from 10 to 88 years."

FIVE Turkish Cypriot journalists and a media group official face a military court on charges of insulting the Turkish army that could see them serving prison sentences ranging from 10 to 88 years.

Kibris columnists Basharan Dozcun and Hasan Hasturer, along with Kibris editor-in-chief Suleyman Erguclu, Kibris Media Group executive Fehim Nevzat and Ortam editorial writers Hasan Kahvecioglu and Mehmet Davuclu, were told this week they would have to appear before a military court.

They will have to answer charges for their reports on tactics used by Turkish Cypriot 'police' against demonstrators in the Turkish-held village of Elia in March of last year.

Demonstrators were forcibly dispersed by charging 'police' after holding a symbolic reunification referendum.

Talat apology
The journalists could be held in custody throughout the course of their hearings.

According to Kibris, 'prime minister' Mehmet Ali Talat apologised on behalf of his administration for the legal action and that all this happened without his knowledge.

He said those who target the media oppose the international community’s embrace of the Turkish Cypriots.

Peace and Democracy Movement leader Mustafa Akinci branded the legal action as a 'scandal and a disgrace.'

Erguclu said is further proof that the status quo is in its death throes.

“They are trying to intimidate the government of Mehmet Ali Talat and to create obstacles to Turkey’s EU aspirations,” said Erguclu.

The Union of Turkish Cypriot Journalists echoed Erguclu, condemning the charges as “a last attempt by the status quo to exert its power.”"