Sertaç Kayar, a reporter with the Sputnik Turkey web site, was charged with “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization” based on his Facebook and Twitter posts. In the indictment he drafted on May 7, 2018, prosecutor cited Kayar’s following posts on Facebook as evidence:
“His post dated November 15, 2017 reads “A comment on the BBC news story about YPG” and features a photo showing a mountain guerilla from PKK holding a weapon,
“His post dated October 17, 2017 reads ‘Today Kerkük, tomorrow the entire Kurdistan’,
“His post dated September 29, 2017 reads “We consider the threat against Kurdistan as a threat against Diyarbakır as well” and features a photo of members of the terrorist organization.“
Sertaç Kayar told the prosecutor that the social media account in question indeed belongs to him, that he has been using it for about seven years, and that he himself has made the posts and comments in question.
Stating that he has been working as a journalist for 12 years, Kayar indicated that “he was working on news stories and photographs for national and international media outlets, that he had no links with PKK, and that therefore he did not accept the charges levelled against him”.
Kayar was charged, as per Law no. 3713, Article 7/2, of spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization through the press and in a continuous manner, by using his open social media profile, and the court ordered that he stand trial on these charges since there was sufficient suspicion to necessitate the opening of a public lawsuit.
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