Foreign news editor of Artı TV Channel İnan Ketenciler shared the footage of the argument between a citizen and some neighbourhood wardens and the citizen being taken into custody on his personal Twitter account on June 23, 2019.
The event occurred the day of the Mayoral Elections in Istanbul. Supreme Electoral Council had annulled the results of Istanbul Mayoral Elections of the nationwide local elections held on March 31, 2019 and ruled for the repetition of the election. Istanbul election was redone on June 23, 2019.
Ketenciler, on his social media account shared the following:
“Warden terror in the middle of Istanbul. A worker of Rock’n Rolla Beyoğlu was taken into custody few minutes ago for calling the neighbourhood wardens, “wardens of AKP”.
The allegations are made up, moreover the wardens insulted hime by saying things such as ‘stop beating around the bush to save yourself’.
A client sits at a table, asks for a beer, the waiter says ‘wardens of justice are passing by, I can’t’. Wardens come over and take him into custody like this and said ‘you called us wardens of AKP’.”
Neighbourhood wardens in Turkey work under the Ministry of Internal Affairs as Police Officers as an additional help to the security forces. Wardens have the right to bear arms “in haste and necessary situations where general security forces are not available to respond immediately”. Powers of neighbourhood wardens, who have been around since the 1966-Law, were broadened by the law passed in February 2020.
Wardens who were in the footage filed an official complaint against journalist İnan Ketenciler who recorded the events and shared it on his social media account.
Due to the complaint, Cyber Crimes Investigation Bureau of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation. Restaurant personnel who was taken into custody in the footage too, was included in the indictment against Ketenciler.
Ketenciler, within the scope of the investigation, was accused of “Illegally Obtaining or Disseminating Personal Data”.
A decision of non prosecution was given regarding the restaurant personnel from the footage shared by Ketenciler. However the indictment against Ketenciler was completed on March 5, 2020. Wardens were the “complainants” of the indictment.
The indictment accused Ketenciler of “Illegally Obtaining or Disseminating Personal Data” according to the article 136/1 of the Turkish Penal Code. He was requested to be sentenced to, from two years to four years. Ketenciler was also requested to be “bereaved of specific rights” according to the article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.
The trial is set to start with the first hearing at Istanbul 55th Criminal Court of First Instance on September 24, 2020.
Press in Arrest is a database, monitoring, documentation and collective memory study of Press Research Association.
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