ISTANBUL—Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals has given jailed Turkish-Armenian journalist Sevan Nishanian an additional 4 years and 7 months, raising his current prison sentence to 11 years and 1 month.
Turkish-Armenian writer, intellectual and journalist Sevan Nishanian is currently serving time over a charge of “deliberately causing harm to the protection of immovable cultural heritage” for his building an addition to his home in the Aegean village of Sirince in violation to the Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection Act (KTVKK). However he is known for his outspoken criticism of the government, and it is widely believed that his sentencing was simply an excuse to silence the vocal critic.
Appeals against the eleven separate cases filed against Nishanian over violations of the KTVKK and the Zoning Code had been brought to the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court Prosecutor has yet to respond to the request that the cases be consolidated into one single sentence, instead of sentencing Nishanian for the same crimes one by one.
Nishanian would have been eligible for transfer to a minimum-security open prison as of April 21; however, the additional sentencing means he will remain in his current closed prison until 2016 at the earliest.