19 February 2018

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02/14/2018 TURKEY

Turkish opposition leader convicted of documenting arms trafficking to Syria

The Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoglu will have to serve five years and 10 months. For the judges he provided "secret information" to a pro-opposition newspaper. His arrest comes after a massive march from Ankara to Istanbul, the most important anti-government demonstration in recent months.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A court in Istanbul yesterday sentenced a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP) to five years and 10 months in prison. The judges found him guilty of leaking classified material to a daily critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan..

Last June Enis Berberoglu, one of the Chp's most prominent personalities, had been sentenced to 25 years in prison; however, a regional court of appeal in Istanbul had overturned the sentence and, in October, ordered the repetition of the trial.

According to the official Turkish news agency Anadolu, he had ended up at the bar for "leaking information" that "should have remained classified, for the sake of state security".

The controversial story of Berberoglu dates back to 2015, with the publication by the newspaper Cumhuriyet (close to the opposition and repeatedly subjected to government attacks since the failed coup in July 2016) of compromising photos. The images showed elements of Turkish intelligence intent on transporting weapons across the border, in Syria.

The Chp parliamentarian passed the images to the former director of Cumhuriyet Can Dundar, who fled the country seeking refuge in Germany, after receiving a sentence of five years and 10 months in prison.

The Chp deputy has been in jail since last June. To date, he is the first and only parliamentarian of the main secular opposition party who has been imprisoned and condemned following the attempted coup, in which Erdogan's power wavered for several hours.

The indictment of Berberoglu had led the Chp leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu to promote a protest march from Ankara to Istanbul, which gathered thousands of people. A walk that represented the highest point of the opposition protest against the government since the 2013 demonstrations against President Erdogan.

Since the coup attempt against the government and its leader, the Turkish authorities have arrested tens of thousands of people in the context of a massive repression campaign. The government crackdown has targeted journalists, intellectuals, professors, soldiers, public officials or judges; doctors, athletes, entrepreneurs and even ordinary citizens. The often specious accusations include affiliation to Kurdish "terrorist" groups or membership of the movement that belongs to the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, in exile in Pennsylvania (United States).

See also

26/02/2016 09:03:00 TURKEY
Constitutional Court frees two journalists

The director and chief editor of Cumhuriyet had published a report on the Turkish government’s arms trafficking with Islamists in Syria. Erdogan had threatened them that they would "pay a high price." More than 30 journalists are still in prison. Turkey one of the worst nations in the world for press freedom.


04/12/2017 19:28:00 SYRIA – UNITED NATIONS
UN-led Syria peace talks undermined by Saudi diktats

Syrian government representative al-Ja’afari rejects Riyadh and all those who want Assad’s exclusion. The latest round of talks in Geneva ended without results. Saudi-backed opposition has no real representativeness on the ground. Hope for a new peace plan might come from the mediation of Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Sochi and Astana.

17/02/2016 09:24:00 UNITED NATIONS - SYRIA - TURKEY
Syrian conflict, UN: new distribution of emergency aid for areas under siege

The Damascus government has given the green light for the delivery of food and basic necessities to seven areas. These include the town of Madaya, where people are dying of starvation. Moscow rejects Ankara’s accusations it bombed hospitals. The UN Security Council criticizes Turkey.


04/11/2016 10:20:00 TURKEY
Explosion in Diyarbakir after the arrest of two pro-Kurdish leaders

At least 20 wounded in the blast, two of them seriously. The explosion occurred near a police station in the Baglar district. Earlier the security forces had arrested Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag. State of emergency extended. Arrest warrant for 137 university professors, suspected of ties with the Islamic preacher Gülen.


25/10/2016 10:43:00 TURKEY
Erdogan counter "coup" repression: over 35 thousand arrested, 82 thousand suspects

A failed coup in mid-July tens of thousands of arrests. At least 26 thousand people are free, but "under judicial control." According to the Minister of Justice the operations target the authors and supporters of the coup. The ruling party ready to submit the text of institutional change to Parliament: from a parliamentary to a presidential system.


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