Turkey: Yeni Demokrasi Editor-in-Chief Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

By Nélida Tello

Tupa Apaydin, editor-in-chief of Yeni Demokrasi (New Democracy), was sentenced to 30 months in prison on December 9. Apaydin was targeted by the reactionary Turkish state for publishing articles in support of the armed struggle waged by the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML), the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHP-C).

The old Turkish state opened an investigation into Apaydin over a year ago after Yeni Demokrasi published its 39th “We learn from the masses, we walk with the masses,” and 49th edition.

The Çağlayan 34th Criminal Court sentenced Apaydin to two consecutive 15-month sentences, for the publication of both editions, totaling 30 months in prison. If the verdict is suspended Apaydin will face a 5-year probation period.

The investigation against Apaydin was initiated last year for including sections of Guerrilla War and the Role of the Masses, Kaypakkaya’s 11 Principles, and Immortalized in the Fight in the newspaper’s editions. During the investigation, Apaydin defended the content of the two editions stating that citing Kaypakkaya was not a crime.

Earlier this year, state authorities confiscated the 49th edition of the newspaper, which led to a trial by the 9th Criminal Court of Peace in Istanbul. Apaydin once again spoke out in defense of the publication during the trial stating that the newspaper did not contain criminal content.

Bookstores such as Dost Bookstore were raided by the Ankara police for selling the revolutionary newspaper. The police, however, were unsuccessful in removing the newspaper from the bookstore or preventing its dissemination.

Yeni Demokrasi, which has faced constant state repression, refuses to be silent or to stop the spread of revolutionary news. They shared on their website, “Our newspaper, Yeni Demokrasi, whose website is constantly banned and whose printed publications are sued, will not be silent in the face of pressure, prohibitions and punishments, and will continue to keep alive the revolutionary press tradition and convey the facts to the public.”

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