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Turkey

Press Freedom Case In Turkey Gets No Clarity From Computer Experts

HURRIYET, RADIKAL (Turkey)

Worldcrunch

ISTANBUL -There was hope that Turkey’s top technology experts could provide some clarity in the ongoing OdaTV case that’s roiled the country’s media and government elite for the past 18 months.

But the long-awaited computer files report by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK, has only fed more doubts in the case opened against a group of journalists accused of being members of an outlawed organization dubbed Ergenekon, which the government suspects of plotting a coup.

Ahmet Sik, Nedim Sener, Baris Terkoglu and other journalists linked to OdaTV, an online news site known for its consistently harsh criticism of government policies, are accused of being part of the alleged plot against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Activists have cited the case as a serious threat to press freedom in Turkey.

Digital files said to prove an alleged Ergenekon conspiracy are the basis of the case against the journalists. But the TUBITAK findings offered no conclusive evidence either way: “Viruses were detected in the examined computers. However, we did not detect if the documents were transferred with viruses or not,” read the report, according to the Istanbul-based daily Radikal on Tuesday.

Computer experts had refuted the validity of the original digital documents, saying that the journalists computers were targeted by outside sources and went unnoticed because of malware (hostile software), according to the Hürriyet daily.

In June, after 16 months behind bars, Muyesser Yildiz became the latest journalist to be released pending trial in the OdaTV case. But others remain jailed in this case, along with dozens of other journalists across Turkey.

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