Saturday, 16 September 2023
The Editor-in-Chief of online newspaper Özgür Gazete, Pınar Barut, has won a court case which the newspaper brought against President Ersin Tatar when he was prime minister, online publication Bianet reported.
Tatar was ordered to pay 20,000 TL in damages for his remarks aimed at the journalist who had made allegations against Turkey about meddling in the 2020 presidential elections in North Cyprus.
Prior to the elections, Özgür Gazete documented secret meetings between then PM Tatar and Fuat Oktay, the then vice president of Turkey, and reported it as “Here are the photos of election meddling“.
Tatar responded by accusing the newspaper and its editor-in-chief, Pınar Barut, of “spying for foreign countries” in a press release on the Prime Ministry’s official website.
Özgür Gazete filed a lawsuit against Tatar. The Nicosia District Court ordered Tatar to pay 20,000 Turkish liras to the newspaper.
After the trial, Barut said that the result of the case was a significant victory for the press and journalists in Cyprus, after the trial. She emphasised that Tatar had jeopardised their safety with his statements: “In many parts of the world, when politicians and power centres do not like the news about them, they can target journalists. Due to this targeting, someone can commit violent crimes against journalists, whether materially or spiritually. Many journalists have lost their lives, been murdered, removed from the profession, or silenced for this cause”.