An Istanbul court has issued an arrest warrant for journalist Cengiz Çandar to obtain his defense over a tweet he shared on May 30, 2017 that concerned the death of Ayşe Deniz Karacagil, who died in Syria’s Raqqa after joining the People's Protection Units (YPG).
The Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court also said in its ruling on Jan. 18 that a rogatory letter will be sent to Sweden for Çandar's testimony to be taken regarding the case.
The journalist, who is facing charges of “praising crime and criminal,” deemed the court's ruling as “improper” and said the arrest warrant is just one of the many incidents that showed the “sorrowful situation the Turkish judiciary system is currently in.”
“I am saddened [about the court's ruling]. The case is about a two-sentence tweet that I wrote for a young girl who lost her life in 2017 while fighting against ISIS. My May 30, 2017-dated tweet is exactly as follows: 'The Girl with the Red Scarf, the angel that had the most beautiful smile of Gezi which warmed our hearts. She has again burnt our hearts by rising to the stars as she fell to the ground in front of Raqqa,'” Çandar said.
Karacagil first became publicly known in Turkey as “the girl with the red scarf” during the Gezi protests in summer 2013. She spent four months in custody after police and prosecutors linked the color of her scarf to socialism during interrogations.
In 2017, she died near Raqqa fighting in the YPG ranks, a group that Turkey sees as a terror group for its links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
In his statement, Çandar also said Turkish authorities have the knowledge that he has been working at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and knows about his registered address in Sweden.
“While I am able to receive a legal notice with regards to a land case in Bursa, it is hardly believable that the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office could not have found me,” he noted.