Turkish journalist facing 7 years in prison over social media post

A Turkish prosecutor is demanding an over seven year prison sentence for journalist Melis Alphan over a six-year-old social media post, Sözcü newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Alphan is accused of conducting “terrorism propaganda” over an Instagram post from 2016, which featured a photograph of Kurdish Newroz celebrations welcoming spring.

The photograph contained a flag of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self rule for almost four decades.

Alphan has denied the accusation, saying she shared a photo of the celebrations, which she did not attend in person and were aired by TV-channels across the country, according to Sözcü.

“The accusations against me are about the flags that were held by people… there has been a case filed against me for sharing a photograph,’’the journalist said, dismissing any links to terror.

Turkey holds the PKK solely responsible for more than 40,000 deaths in a decades long conflict between Turkish security forces and the around groups and views it as a terrorist organisation. The United States, European Union and other states also designate the PKK as a terrorist group.