Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of April 5

This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

6 April Tuesday

  • The trial where complainant Justice and Development Party (AKP) Bursa MP Efkan Ala accuses former aktifhaber.com Editor-in-Chief Yetkin Yıldız of  “slander” and “libel” will resume before the Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance. Evidence against Yıldız consists of news reports on tweets that are posted from the anonymous twitter account called Fuat Avni.
  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Melis Alphan faces “terror propaganda” charges for an image she posted on her personal Instagram account on March 21, 2015 will be held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court this week. The indictment claims that Alphan’s concerned post shows PKK flags and posters of Öcalan, arguing that “the terrorist organization is praised” and that Alphan is “acting towards inciting sympathy towards the terrorist organization.”
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where artist Ferhat Tunç faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges based on eight tweets where he criticized the Turkish army’s “Olive Branch operation” conducted in Afrin, Syria will resume at İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court this week. German judicial authorities have rejected Turkey’s request to have Tunç’s defense received via rogatory letters with an emphasis on freedom of expression.

8 April Thursday

  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Demokrat Haber website editor journalist Selda Manduz faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Kars 2nd High Criminal Court this week. Manduz was taken in police custody on Oct 1, 2020 as part of an operation against HDP politicians in Kars and was released with judicial control measures on Oct 4, 2020. Testimonies of secret witnesses and tape recordings of Manduz’s phone conversations are presented as evidence against the journalist.