Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it hailed journalist Ertugrul Mavioglu’s acquittal by an Istanbul court earlier today on a charge of “propaganda in support of a terrorist organization” for interviewing Murat Karayilan of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), which the authorities regard as the urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The interview was published in three instalments in the newspaper Radikal in October 2010. Mavioglu had been facing the possibility of a seven-and-a-half-year jail sentence under article 7 (2) of Law 3713, the Anti-Terrorism Law. The newspaper’s editor, Hasan Kiliç, was also acquitted.
Mavioglu said he was “appalled and pained as a Turkish citizen” by the impossibility of publishing an article with the least reference to a “terrorist” or “terrorist organization.”
Turkey’s Anti-Terrorism Law poses a major danger for journalists who dare to cover the demands of Turkey’s Kurdish minority.