Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of January 13

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

13 January Monday

  • Fifteenth hearing of the “Özgür Gündem main trial” where 9 people including since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily’s writers and executive staff face “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state,” “establishing an organization for the purpose of committing crimes,” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court. Those who stand trial are: Filiz Koçali, Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay, Ragıp Zarakolu, Zana Kaya, İnan Kızılkaya, Eren Keskin, Kemal Sancılı and Bilge Aykut.

14 January Tuesday

  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Mehmet Yılmaz is accused of “insulting” former PM Binali Yıldırım in his column posted on T24 website on 14 June 2019 titled “Mr. Binali, give me your secret and get my vote!” will be held at İstanbul 37th Criminal Court of First Instance this week. İstanbul Anadolu 4th Criminal Judgeship of Peace has issued an access ban for the article per Binali Yıldırım’s request. 
  • Trial where Mesopotamia News Agency reporter Rojhat Doğru face “terrorist propaganda” and “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will resume at Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court this week.
  • First hearing of the trial where Yeni Yaşam daily’s former Managing Editor Osman Akın face “terrorist propaganda” charges will begin at İstanbul 24th High Criminal Court

16 January Thursday

  • 17th hearing of the trial where since shut down Taraf daily’s former Managing Editor Bülent Onur Şahin, Editor-in-Chief Düriye Neşe Yaşar (Neşe Düzel) and journalist Tunca İlker Öğreten face “attempting to influence those who have judicial duty” and “damaging one’s commercial reputation” charges will be held at Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance
  • The trial where since shuttered Dicle News Agency reporter Selman Keleş and journalist Arif Aslan face “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will resume at Van 5th High Criminal Court. Two journalists were arrested on 30 March 2017 while taking photos near Van Municipality building as terror suspects and were released during the first hearing of their trial, which was held on 21 November 2017. 
  • Trial where artist Ferhat Tunç faces “terrorist propaganda” and “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will resume at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court this week. 
  • Second hearing of the trial where 11 people, including Mesopotamia News Agency reporter Berfin Aslan, Yeni Yaşam newspaper staffer Mehmet Şahin, and Özgür Gelecek reporter Perihan Erkılınç, who were taken into police custody during protests against appointed trustees to Kurdish provinces instead of elected mayors on August 23, 2019 will be held at İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court this week.
  • First hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Seyhan Avşar is accused of insulting prosecutors İsmet Bozkurt and Lütfü Karabacak by ‘portraying them as prosecutors who take legal action in exchange of a bribe’ in her news story on the FETÖ investigation launched against the prosecutors that was published in Cumhuriyet on 17 March 2019 will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week.
  • Twelfth hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and former Managing Editor Abbas Yalçın face “insulting the President” charges for a news story from August 2015 on Cemil Bayık will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week.

17 January Friday

  • Second hearing of the trial where 38 people including journalists Mustafa Sönmez, Sedef Kabaş, Merdan Yanardağ ile Bloomberg Business muhabirleri Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalınkılıç are accused of sharing “false, wrong, or deceptive information” to affect the markets for their reporting will resume at İstanbul 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance. The criminal investigation was launched following Turkey’s banking regulator agency BDDK’s complaint and finance reporting & social media posts criticizing the government’s financial policies are considered evidence for “defying the capital markets law.”