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Journalism and free speech trials: Week of April 1 – 5

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This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts, including the trials of Cumhuriyet writer Çiğdem Toker and reporters Alican Uludağ and Duygu Güvenç.  Below is a list of this week’s hearings.

3 April, Wednesday

  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily writer Yusuf Karataş faces “founding and managing a terrorist organization” charges for panels and workshops that he had attended will be held at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court.

  • Second hearing of the trial where since shut-down İMC TV’s Program Coordinator Ayşegül Doğan faces “founding and managing an armed organization” charges for her journalistic activities including meetings and interviews with Democratic Society Congress (DTK) executives and events that she attended as a journalist will take place at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court. The prosecutor demands up to 22.5 years in prison for Doğan.

  • Eleventh hearing of the trial where 13 journalists and writers (Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, Ömer Ağın, İhsan Çaralan, Celalettin Can, Fehim Işık, Öncü Akgül, Hüseyin Aykol, Veysel Kemer, Yüksel Oğuz, Mehmet Şirin Taşdemir and Dilşah Karakaya) face “making terrorist propaganda” charges for participating in the “Editors-in-Chief on Watch” campaign in solidarity with the since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily will take place at İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court.

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where filmmakers Çayan Demirel and Ertuğrul Mavioğlu face “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Batman 2nd High Criminal Court. Demir and Mavioğlu face these charges for their documentary, Bakur (The North).

4 April, Thursday

  • Trial of journalist Çiğdem Toker will resume at Ankara 13th Civil Court of First Instance. Toker was sued by Şenbay Madencilik Inc. with a request of 1.5 million Turkish Liras in reparations for Toker’s article titled “If you’re looking to reduce spending, start with subway tenders,” which was published in Cumhuriyet daily on 27 October 2017.   

  • Second hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet daily reporters Alican Uludağ and Duygu Güvenç face “publicly denigrating the Turkish state and its judicial institutions” (Article 301) charges for their news story on Pastor Andrew Brunson titled “While the hostage diplomacy collapses” will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.

  • The trial where four Middle East Technical University (METU) students face “insulting the president” charges for the banner they carried during the commencement ceremony will resume at Ankara 11th Criminal Court of First Instance. The person who allegedly printed the banner also stands trial. The concerned banner refers to a cartoon of Turkish magazine Penguen from 2006, which shows Erdoğan as different kinds of animals with the caption “Kingdom of Tayyips.”

5 April, Friday

  • Eighth hearing of the trial where Demokratik Modernite journal’s editor Haydar Ergül faces “membership in a terrorist organization charges” will be held at İstanbul 22nd High Criminal Court. 14 members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) stand trial alongside Ergül.

  • Third hearing of the trial where journalist Sertaç Kayar faces “founding and managing a terrorist organization” charges will resume at Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court. Marches, demonstrations and press conferences that he attended as a journalist in Diyarbakır between 2012-2014 are used as evidence against him.