Two Bloomberg reporters go on trial for report on Turkish economy

23.09.2019

Two reporters from U.S. news agency Bloomberg have gone on trial in Istanbul on charges relating to a 2018 story about a sharp decline in the lira and how the authorities were responding.

Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic have been accused of trying to undermine the country's economic stability, Bloomberg said in June when the court accepted the prosecutor's indictment.

Thirty-six others, including a top economist, have been charged in the same case for their social media comments on the story dated 10 August, 2018.

The charges carry jail sentences of two to five years.  

In June, banking regulator BDDK said it filed a criminal complaint to the Istanbul prosecutor's office on 14 August 2018, against the Bloomberg reporters for "damaging the reputation" of banks in Turkey.

BDDK said it will take "necessary legal means in the future against similar publications" that could "damage the reputation of our banks and our economy" and "create an impression of weakness in our country's banking and finance system."

Erol Onderoglu, the Turkey representative of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), was observing the proceedings.

"These absurd charges must be lifted," the media watchdog said.

When the charges were filed, Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said: "We condemn the indictment issued against our reporters, who have reported fairly and accurately on newsworthy events."

Turkey has jailed dozens of journalists and shut down several media houses since a 2016 coup attempt.

The major share of broadcasters and newspapers are close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).    (dpa)

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