Turkish journalist faces legal action for years-old reports on tweets of whistleblower

Turkish authorities have filed a lawsuit against the editor-in-chief of the independent news site T24 over his publication of reports based on tweets of a whistleblower social media account, Bianet reported on Thursday.

Doğan Akın is accused of aiding and abetting Gülen movement, which the government blames for orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt, for publishing news in 2016 based on the tweets of a Twitter account that goes by the name Fuat Avni that the government says was affiliated with the movement, Bianet said.

But, no evidence indicates a direct relationship between Akın and the Gülen movement, the indictment said.

The Twitter account claimed to be a part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle, and published tweets which accurately predicted several events before they happened.

The account became a very hot issue when it began tweeting in April 2014 while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was dealing with corruption allegations backed up by extensive leaks of sound recordings and documents.

Turkish authorities earlier launched an investigation into T24, news outlet Diken, and four journalists from left-leaning Birgün daily for publishing Fuat Avni tweets.