Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of February 3

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

4 February Tuesday

  • Second hearing of the trial where film director Kazım Öz faces “membership in an armed terrorist organization” charges will be held at Tunceli 2nd High Criminal Court this week. Attending Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) Politics Academy, attending the Gezi protests and some tape recordings of his phone conversations are presented as evidence against Öz, whose films include Bahoz and Zer. Prosecutor demands up to 15 years in prison for Öz.
  • Trial where Free Journalists Initiative (ÖGİ) spokesperson Hakkı Boltan faces “insulting the president” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 12th Criminal Court of First Instance this week. Boltan faces these charges for a press statement he made about Azadiya Welat newspaper’s Managing Editor Rohat Aktaş, who was stuck in the basement of a building during the curfews that were announced in Cizre in 2016. 

5 February Wednesday

  • Trial where journalist Durket Süren faces “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will resume at Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court this week. Journalist Süren was taken in police custody on March 1, 2019 in Diyarbakır’s Lice district while she was reporting. The indictment against Süren presents her twitter posts, phone recordings, her selling copies of Azadiya Welat and Özgür Gündem newspapers and her TV program titled “Women’s Perspective” from April 11, 2017 as evidence for “terrorist propaganda.” 

6 February Thursday

  • Ninth hearing of the trial where six journalists stand trial for reporting on the emails of Berat Albayrak, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources at the time, which were leaked by RedHack will resume at İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court. Journalists Metin Yoksu, Tunca Öğreten, Eray Saygın, Derya Okatan, Mahir Kanaat and Ömer Çelik face the following charges: terrorist propaganda, hindrance or destruction of an information system, deletion or alteration of data, acting on behalf of a terrorist organization without being a member, and membership to a terrorist organization.
  • 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.” 
  • The trial where since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily’s Editors-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol and Zana Kaya, Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya and Kurdish politician Hatip Dicle face “publicly denigrating the government, the judiciary, and law enforcement officials” and “publicly denigrating the Turkish people, the republic, and the Grand National Assembly” charges for news stories published in the newspaper will resume at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of the First Instance.
  • Fourth hearing of the trial where author Temel Demirer faces “praising an offence and the offender ” charges for a speech he gave during a Suruç massacre commemoration that was held in Kadıköy on July 20th, 2017 will be held at Anadolu 33rd Criminal Court of First Instance in Kartal, İstanbul. 

7 February Friday

  • First hearing of the trial where Yeni Yaşam daily’s Managing Editor Aydın Keser faces “terrorist propaganda” charges for a news report published in the newspaper on October 10, 2019 will begin at İstanbul 22nd High Criminal Court this week.