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Journalism and free speech trials: Week of Dec 3-7


This week several journalists will appear before judges. Below is a list of this week’s journalism and free speech trials:

December 3, Monday

  • Gün Printing House employees will be on trial at 09:30 at İstanbul 26. High Criminal Court on ‘membership in a terrorist organization’, ‘terrorist propaganda’ and ‘publishing and distributing materials of a terrorist organization’ charges.

  • Lawyers from Progressive Lawyers Association and Law Bureau of the People will be on trial at İstanbul 37. High Criminal Court (will be held in Silivri Punishment Execution Campus) on ‘membership in a terrorist organization and leading a terrorist organization’ charges.

December 5, Wednesday

  • Hearing of Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayip will be held at İstanbul 23. High Criminal Court. Şahin and Gayip are charged with ‘membership in a terrorist organization’ and ‘terrorist propaganda’.

December 6, Thursday

  • Hearing of JinNews reporter Kibriye Evren will be held at Diyarbakır 5. High Criminal Court. Evren is accused of ‘membership in a terrorist organization’.

  • The now-shuttered Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper employees İshak Yasul, Hicran Urun, Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, İhsan Yaşar, Davut Uçar, Ersı̇n Çaksu, Fırat Benlı̇, Günay Aksoy, Mizgin Fendik, Önder Elaldı, Pınar Tarlak, Ramazan Sola and Yılmaz Yıldız will be on trial at İstanbul 23. High Criminal Court.

  • Hearing of former Cumhuriyet newspaper writer Çiğdem Toker will be held at 09:25 at Ankara 1. Civil Court of First Instance. Toker had written a piece titled ‘Tomatoes to Russia also from Bayburt’ on 15 September 2017, about a company called Arobay Greenhousing, which is a part of Bayburt Group. A preliminary hearing was held in June after Arobay Greenhousing sued Toker claiming 1.5 million TL in compensation.

  • Evrensel newspaper editor-in-chief Fatih Polat will be on trial at İstanbul 2. Criminal Court of First Instance. Former Ankara mayor Melih Gökçek had filed a lawsuit against Polat after his phone call tapes were published in the daily. Polat is charged with ‘violating the secrecy of communication between individuals’.