Turkish journalist arrested for sharing leaked ID of Erdoğan

Turkish independent journalist İbrahim Haskoloğlu has been arrested for allegedly 'unlawfully obtaining personal information,' after he announced hackers had stolen personal information from government websites. Haskoloğlu shared some of the information, including what is said to be President Erdoğan's ID.

Reuters - Duvar English

Turkish authorities jailed journalist İbrahim Haskoloğlu on April 19 pending trial after he announced hackers had stolen personal information from government websites and shared some of it with him, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ID card, as proof, his lawyer said.

The independent journalist Haskoloğlu posted the announcement on Twitter, illustrating it with a partially obscured photo of what he said was Erdoğan's ID.

His lawyer, Emrah Karatay, said his client was arrested on a charge of illegally obtaining and disseminating personal information due to his social media posts.

In his Twitter posts last week, Haskoloğlu said that a group of hackers had contacted him two months ago and told him that they had obtained Turks' personal information from government websites.

As well as sharing the purported photo of Erdoğan's ID, Haskoloğlu also published an image of what he said was the ID card of Hakan Fidan, head of Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MİT). Most of the information on the cards was concealed.

"A hacker group contacted me while I was on air [on Twitch] about 2 months ago. They said that data was stolen from government-owned sites. They stated that they are still leaking the data and shared some government officials' information with me. This includes new ID cards," Haskoloğlu tweeted.

"The reason for his formal arrest was that he did not notify prosecutors," Karatay said, adding that Haskoloğlu had warned various authorities but no action was taken.

"He thought he had to warn people as a journalist and posted these. Now he's arrested - that's all," Karatay said, adding that police had searched Haskoloğlu's house when they detained him last night.

Istanbul police was not immediately available for comment.

Broadcaster NTV said the Interior Ministry had filed a complaint about Haskoloğlu after his posts, prompting an investigation by the Istanbul prosecutor's office.

Turkey is one of the world's top jailers of journalists and mainstream media is controlled by those close to Erdoğan's government. Turkey's government denies accusations by human rights groups that it muzzles the media.

Turkey was ranked 153rd among 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).