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Editor of newspaper′s website faces 15 years in prison

October 7, 2009

Journalist Aylin Duruoglu has spent nearly six months in Istanbul′s Bakirköy prison on totally unfounded charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation, Reporters Without Borders said today. The Istanbul prosecutor′s office requested a 15-year jail sentence for Duruoglu when she appeared in court on 1 October.

Duruoglu was accused of belonging to an armed group called the Revolutionary Headquarters after acknowledging, during interrogation by Istanbul counter-terrorism police, that she knew one if its members, writer Ohran Yilmazkaya.

Duruoglu told the court she had known him at university and, for that reason, and because he was a writer, she met with him again subsequently. "If I had known he was a member of an armed organisation, I would never have agreed to see him," she said.

"The mere fact of that Duruoglu knew a member of a terrorist group constitutes neither complicity nor evidence of any affiliation, especially if she was unaware that he belonged to this armed organisation," Reporters Without Borders said. "We call for this journalist′s immediate release."

In the absence of any evidence of criminal activity punishable under the law, Duruoglu′s detention is unjustified and a violation of articles 5.1.c and 5.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has signed.

Arrested on 27 April, Duruoglu edited the daily Vatan′s website, She also wrote a book entitled "Turkish Baths."

For more information contact:
Reporters without Borders
Phone: 33 1 44 83 84 84

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