A journalist in Turkey, Neşe İdil, received a suspended sentence for spreading terrorist propaganda with a tweet showing women celebrating the liberation of Kobani (Kobanê) from ISIS in 2015.

A Turkish court has handed a suspended prison sentence to journalist Nece İdil for tweeting in 2015 that the women of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), an all-female brigade of the armed forces in the Kurdish regions of northern Syria, had liberated the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani (Kobanê) from the Islamic State (ISIS).

İdil went on trial over an image in a post on her X social media account in January 2015, along with a comment that read “YPJ women celebrating the liberation of Kobani from ISIS”.


The Istanbul court heard the case on 20 February in the absence of İdil, who was represented by her lawyer Fatih Aydın. The prosecutor reiterated his initial request for a prison sentence, arguing that İdil’s post, which featured armed YPJ members, constituted propaganda for illegal organisations and therefore fell outside the scope of freedom of expression.

İdil’s defence pointed out that the YPJ was only recognised as a terrorist organisation by the Turkish Court of Cassation five months after the post was published, and argued for İdil’s acquittal.

The court sentenced İdil to a year and three months in prison for terrorist propaganda, with the sentence suspended for five years.

The international organisation Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIF) has condemned Turkey’s misuse of anti-terror laws to silence the press and urged the court to overturn its decision.

Rights organisations regularly criticise Turkey for curbing press freedom through the imprisonment of journalists. According to a report by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), a staggering 314 journalists faced legal action in 2023, with 29 held in pre-trial detention. Terrorism-related charges made up the majority of cases involving journalists, accounting for 43 per cent of trials.