Tweets on “Operation Olive Branch”: charges against the translator for “terrorist propaganda”

Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice


Sebla Küçük, known on Twitter for her translations of the case of “U.S. v Atilla”, has been brought charges due to her translations of English news sources regarding the “Operation Olive Branch” on the grounds of terrorist propaganda.

Küçük translated into Turkish the tweets of American reporters following the trials in which Hakan Atilla, former executive at Halkbank, was sentenced to 32 months in prison last December in New York. Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab became key witness in the trial that was followed by thousands of people.

Charges were issued against Küçük by the Istanbul 35th High Criminal Court earlier this year due to her posts about “Operation Olive Branch” launched by the Turkish Armed Forces against YPG (People’s Protection Units) in Afrin.

Three posts translated and tweeted by Küçük from foreign news sources and reporters were included in the indictment.

Küçük is accused of disseminating terrorist propaganda with her posts. Turkish Criminal Law stipulates the imprisonment of the offender between one to five years.

Stating that the posts in question were verbatim translations, Küçük said “PKK or YPG isn’t even mentioned in tweets. National Defense Forces that provided support to the government in Syria is mentioned. One of these tweets is the translation of a Reuters news piece and the other is from a journalist. PKK is mentioned in the third tweet but it’s the breaking news of Reuters.”

Pointing to the fact that her tweets about the “U.S. v Atilla” case were included in the investigation file but not in the indictment, Küçük said “Apparently they were bothered by my tweets about the Atilla case yet couldn’t find anything there, thus filed charges for these tweets on forced reasons.”

Küçük’s first hearing will be held on November 22nd.

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