Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of July 13

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

13 July Monday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where İleri Haber news portal’s former Editor-in-Chief Onur Emre Yağan faces “consecutively making terror propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 33th High Criminal Court this week. Yağan faces the charge based on news reports published on İleri Haber’s web site and tweets posted from the outlet’s official account.

14 July Tuesday

  • Tenth hearing of the trial where journalist Kibriye Evren faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges for her journalistic activities and social media posts will resume at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court. Evren was arrested on Oct 11, 2018 and was tried whilst in detention until the previous hearing. She was released during the eighth hearing of the trial on Nov 11, 2019 following a 13-month detainment. 
  • Twelfth hearing of the trial where 27 defendants including journalist and translator Meşale Tolu face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will take place at Istanbul 29th High Criminal Court.
  • Second 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. 
  • Sixth hearing of the trial where journalist Mehmet Dursun face “terrorist propaganda” charges based on several phone recordings will be held at Van 4th High Criminal Court this week. Former Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Mehmet Dursun was arrested in Van in 2017 and remained in detention for eight months pending trial. 
  • Second hearing of the trial where former Halk TV executive and journalist Hakan Aygün faces “publicly degrades the religious values of a section of the public” charges for a tweet criticizing the government for demanding donations to combat COVID-19 will be held at Bodrum 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance. Aygün was taken under police custody on April 2 for this tweet and was arrested for “inciting the public to hatred” and “insult” charges on April 3. Journalist Aygün was released pending trial during the first hearing which was held on May 6, 2020. 

16 July Thursday

  • Ninth hearing of the trial where Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel faces “terrorist propaganda” and “provoking the people to hatred and animosity” charges will resume at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court. Yücel, who is represented by MLSA, was imprisoned for a year in Turkey and is now tried in absentia. The prosecutor demands up to 18 years in prison for him. Yücel presented his defense statement in the case on May 10, 2019 in a Berlin court. The verdict is expected to be announced during this hearing. 

17 July Friday

  • 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 2nd High Criminal Court in Kartal, İstanbul. During the 22th hearing of the trial last December, Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court ruled for a lack of jurisdiction since the crime was committed via press and sent the case-file over to the Anadolu 2nd High Criminal Court per the prosecutor’s demand despite the Intelligence Agency lawyers protesting against this decision and demanding a verdict.