Turkish authorities have just sentenced a Wall Street Journal reporter to serve more than two years in jail. The case claimed terror charges. One of the articles the professional wrote was the primary source of dispute. Therefore, the Turkish government was the author of another infringement of press rights.
The Reporter Conviction on Terror Charges Might Be Pretext to Continue Dispute between Turkey and the U.S.
The defendant in the recent lawsuit is Ayla Albayrak. She happened to be in New York when the court in Turkey issued the ruling. Upon hearing the sentence, the reporter decided to file for an appeal.
Based on previous interactions with the press that shared similar features, the Turkish government became worldwide known as the leading oppressor of journalists. On the other hand, the recent case possessed some unusual traits as well. The latest verdict targeted a Turkish citizen that works for an American newspaper.
Therefore, the terror charges that the reporter received might actually stem from another conflict. Trump administration has recently opened a new dispute with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latter arrested a U.S. Consulate member in Istanbul.
Turkish Government Sees Imprisoned Journalists as Spies for Other Countries
Albayrak is the author of a two-year-old article. The post tackled the war between Turkey and Kurdish militants. The law court considered this piece of journalism a source of terror for their nation.
On the other hand, one of Albayrak’s colleagues at the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Baker, described the article as objective. The text hosted no personal opinions on the matter whatsoever.
“The sole purpose of the article was to provide objective and independent reporting on events in Turkey, and it succeeded.”
Turkish officials confronted their negative international image. They claimed that they don’t consider such prisoners as journalists. Instead, they are seen as spies that work for foreign governments.
Turkish authorities sanctioned more those writers who reported on groups that the state labeled as terrorists. Some of these blacklisted entities are PKK and Kurdistan Workers’ Party. That’s precisely what Albayrak wrote about in her article that became the reason for her imprisonment.
Image source: 1