Turkish court jails opposition journalist on espionage charges

Muyesser Yildiz, the Ankara news editor for the OdaTV online news portal, was formally arrested on Thursday following her questioning. (AP)
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Updated 12 June 2020

Turkish court jails opposition journalist on espionage charges

  • Muyesser Yildiz formally arrested on Thursday following her questioning

ANKARA: A Turkish court has jailed a prominent opposition journalist from an online news outlet pending trial on “military and political espionage,” the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
Muyesser Yildiz, the Ankara news editor for the OdaTV online news portal, was detained on Monday. She was formally arrested on Thursday following her questioning.
Ismail Dukel, Ankara representative of broadcaster TELE1, who was also detained along with Yildiz and questioned, was released, Anadolu said. An army sergeant detained with them was also jailed, it said without elaborating.
A lawyer for Yildiz was not immediately available to comment.
OdaTV, an online news outlet, has been critical of President Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Turkey ranks among the top jailers of journalists across the world.
Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, Ankara has cracked down on suspected members of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen’s network, which it accuses of orchestrating the putsch. More than 77,000 people have been jailed and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended.
Critics say Erdogan has used the failed coup as a pretext to clamp down on dissent and strengthen his grip on power, a charge Ankara denies. It says the measures are necessary to safeguard national security.


Prominent Israeli journalist, Netanyahu critic, loses TV job

Updated 07 July 2020

Prominent Israeli journalist, Netanyahu critic, loses TV job

  • Barak Ravid has gained a reputation for breaking stories about Israel’s relations with the US, the EU and other foreign partners

JERUSALEM: A prominent Israeli journalist known for breaking diplomatic scoops and critical coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received notice recently that he was being dismissed.

Barak Ravid, Channel 13 TV’s diplomatic correspondent, was among nearly 40 people who received dismissal letters from the station, Israeli media reported.

Anchorwoman Tali Moreno, veteran weatherman Danny Roop and political correspondent Akiva Novick were among other big names being let go. But it was Ravid’s dismissal that raised eyebrows.

Ravid has gained a reputation for breaking stories about Israel’s relations with the US, the EU and other foreign partners. 

His reporting has upset Netanyahu at times, and the prime minister has publicly rebuked Ravid in the past.

In recent months, Ravid has had exclusive interviews with White House adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s top Mideast adviser, and the foreign minister of Bahrain. He also writes for the online news site “Axios.”

A person familiar with the situation at Channel 13 said Ravid’s dismissal letter cited him for having poor “professional results.” 

Noa Landau, the diplomatic correspondent at the Haaretz daily and a friend of Ravid, said on Twitter that the dismissal has the “scent of a political assassination.”

Channel 13 said it was dealing with a financial streamlining process that has forced it to “bid farewell to outstanding professionals.” It said the process could be continued “within the organization, not outside it,” due to privacy concerns.