Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of December 2 – 6

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

December 3, Tuesday
  • Eighth hearing of the trial where Artı TV Ankara correspondent Sibel Hürtaş and journalist Hayri Demir face “terrorist propaganda” and “inciting the public to hatred and animosity” charges for their social media posts will resume at Ankara 15th High Criminal Court. Hürtaş and Demir are among 11 defendants who stand trial for their social media posts.
  • Eighth hearing of the trial where since shuttered Zaman daily’s Konya correspondent Şirin Kabakçı faces“membership in a terrorist organization” charges will take place at İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court. Kabakçı was released from prison during the fourth hearing following a 19-month detention.
December 4, Wednesday
  • Fifth 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. 
  • 22nd hearing of the trial where since shut-down Taraf daily reporter Mehmet Baransu and Managing Editor Murat Şevki Çoban face “disclosing information that must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security, or domestic and foreign political interests of the State through press” charges for a news report published in Taraf on 28 November 2013 titled “The Decision to end Gulen was reached at the National Security Council (MGK) in 2004” will be held at Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court in Kartal, İstanbul.
  • Seventh hearing of the trial where artist Ferhat Tunç faces “insulting the president” charges for ten tweets he had posted in 2016 will be held at Büyükçekmece 14th Criminal Court of the First Instance. 
December 5, Thursday
  • First 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” in Afrin, Syria will be held at İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court
  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Kenan Kırkaya faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges based on news stories he shared from his social media accounts between 2014 – 2015 will be held at Ankara 32nd High Criminal Court. News stories titled “YPG: We’ll liberate Jerablus as well,” “Criticism from KCK to both the state and their local units” and “PKK commander talked about the war against ISIS” were included in the indictment as evidence, which was drafted on July 31, 2019. On July 21, 2019 pro-government Yeni Akit newspaper had targeted Kırkaya for his column published in Yeni Yaşam titled “Attach towards Kurdistan is not only censorship.” 
  • First hearing of the trial where Mezopotamya Agency reporter Ergin Çağlar faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Mersin 8th High Criminal Court. Çağlar’s reporting on the protests that took place in Mersin during the hunger strike demanding the Turkish government to put an end to the isolation of outlawed PKK leader Öcalan is presented as evidence in the indictment, which also calls Çağlar “so-called journalist.” 
  • Second hearing of the trial where since shuttered Taraf daily’s former Managing Editor Bülent Onur Şahin appears before court for failing to publish a correction in relation to the news story titled  “A new formula is seeked for the Sabah and ATV pool” will be held at Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Şahin had previously been acquitted in this case but the Court of Cassation’s 19th Penal Chamber has overturned this ruling.