Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of December 28

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

29 December Tuesday

  • 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.
  • Fourth hearing of the trial where former Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Mazlum Dolan faces “membership in a terror organization” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court this week.

30 December Wednesday

  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist Buse Söğütlü is accused of “disclosing or publishing the identity of a public official on anti-terrorist duty and identifying them as a target” will be held at İstanbul 33rd High Criminal Court this week. Söğütlü is accused of identifying former Presiding Judge of  İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court  Akın Gürlek for sharing the URL of a news report on Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) trial with the note: “If Hitler gets up from his grave and sits on Akın Gürlek’s chair, he would’ve probably formed the same sentences. Putting occupational ethics aside, one should carry the weight of the position they hold.” 
  • Ninth hearing of the trial where journalist Mehmet Çakmakçı faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court this week. Çakmakçı was taken in police custody while law enforcement raided his home on July 4, 2017 and was released on October 18, 2017. His conversations with news sources and photos he took while reporting are presented as evidence against him and the prosecution demands up to 15 years in prison for him.

31 December Thursday

  • Third hearing of the trial where freelance journalist Oktay Candemir faces “preventing a public officer from performing their duty” and defying “Law no. 2911 on Assemblies and Demonstrations” charges will be held at Van 4th High Criminal Court. An investigation was launched against Candemir in May 2019 when he was following a press statement of HDP officials, which the police intervened, as a reporter.