Turkish authorities on Tuesday remanded a journalist awaiting trial after he claimed that hackers had stolen personal data from government websites and shared some of it with him, using President Erdogan’s identity card as evidence, his lawyer said.
Journalist Ibrahim Haskologlu made the leak known via Twitter, posting an edited image of what he claimed was the identity card of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
His lawyer, Emra Karatai, said his client had been arrested on charges of illegally obtaining and circulating personal information because of his posting on social media.
In a Twitter post last week, Haskologlou said a group of hackers had contacted him two months ago and told him they had obtained Turkish personal data from government websites.
In addition to disclosing the alleged photo of Erdogan’s identity card, Haskologlu also posted a picture of what he claimed was the identity card of Hakan Fidan, head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Service. Most of the information in these bulletins was corrupted after processing.
“The reason for his pre-trial detention was that he had not previously informed the prosecutor’s office,” Karatai said, adding that Haskologlou had warned the authorities but had not taken any action.
“He thought he should have warned people as a journalist and made these posts. Now he has been arrested. That’s all,” Karatai said, adding that police searched Haskologlu’s home when he was arrested Monday night.
Istanbul police were not immediately available for comment, according to Reuters.
Turkish television channel NTV reported that the Turkish Interior Ministry had filed an indictment against Haskologlou after his posts, prompting an investigation by the Istanbul prosecutor’s office.
Turkey is among the countries with the most journalists arrested and the major media outlets controlled by President Erdogan’s associates. Ankara denies allegations by human rights groups that it silences the media.