Our newspaper’s employees Yavuz Yakışkan and Emre İper were taken to the Istanbul Judicial Complex in Çağlayan today after having been held in police custody, the former for fourteen days and the latter for twelve. The investigating prosecutor, Yasemin Baba, sent İper before Istanbul Penal Judgeship of the Peace No 12, seeking his pre-trial detention, based on a three-line information note of the Anti-smuggling and Organised Crime Branch Directorate despite a request for expert examination into the claim made against İper that he is a ByLock user. As to Yakışkan, his release subject to conditions was sought.
Statements were taken yesterday at Istanbul Police Headquarters from our transport operative Yavuz Yakışkan, who has served our paper for 20 years, and our accounting employee of 13 years’ standing, Emre İper. They had been held under arrest at the Istanbul Police Anti-Terrorism Branch in Vatan Stret, Yakışkan since 4 April and İper since 6 April. Our lawyers have not been informed of the charges made against our employees and a confidentiality order has been imposed over the file. Prosecutor Yasemin Baba, who drafted the indictment against our paper’s detained managers and columnists, is conducting the investigation.
There is a visual record showing that he did not use ByLock
Our accounting employee Emre İper was told at police headquarters that he had been determined to be a ByLock user in an ongoing investigation into him by Ankara Republic Chief Prosecution. İper, when questioned at Istanbul Penal Judgeship of the Peace No 12, said about this claim, ‘While reading the Cumhuriyet newspaper indictment, when I saw that my initials and a portion of my mobile phone number were mentioned, I went to the lawyer Tora Pekin and explained the situation. A visual record was made of my mobile phone. I gave the lawyer a power of attorney and, with her going to apply to the public prosecution on the following day, a raid was conducted at my home that night.’ His lawyer Tora Pekin, stating that a visual record had been made of İper's mobile phone, said, ‘His mobile phone, which was confiscated by the prosecution, could have been examined and a report obtained from the time he was arrested until now, but this was not done.’ İper's lawyer Abbas Yalçın, indicating that the ByLock claim was based on an investigation by Ankara Republic Chief Prosecution launched in 2016, said, ‘Application has not been made for my client’s statement until now as part of this investigation. In connection with the ByLock allegation, as his mobile phone has been confiscated, there is no evidence that can be tampered with. We call for his mobile phone to be examined immediately so to enable the truth to be ascertained and for him to be released.’
If not ByLock, there are a tweets
Judge Ömer Harun Özbek alleged in his order, making reference to the three-line information note of the Anti-smuggling and Organised Crime Branch Directorate, that İper was a ByLock user. Judge Özbek also asserted that İper was under strong suspicion of guilt, citing by way of grounds Twitter posts concerning the process in which, as a result of the tension experienced between former Prime-Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Erdoğan in what was known by politicians and columnists as the ‘Pelican Coup’, Davutoğlu stepped down from his posts as Prime-Minister and AKP general chair. Judge Özbek, claiming that İper presented a flight risk, ordered that he be detained noting that the evidence had yet to be gathered.
Operation to silence Cumhuriyet continues: our accounting employee Emre İper detained