Journalism and free speech trials: Week of July 5

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of July 5
This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

5 July Monday

  • Trial where 7 Boğaziçi University students are charged with “provoking the public to hatred and animosity” will be held at Istanbul 21st Criminal Court of First Instance this week. Students are charged for a work of art included in an on-campus exhibition. Two students, who remained in pre-trial detention for 47 days, were released during the first hearing held on March 17, 2021. 

6 July Tuesday

  • Trial where exiled journalist Hayko Bağdat faces “insulting the President” charges for statements he made during a Bugün TV broadcast in September 2015 will resume at İstanbul 51st Criminal Court of First Instance this week. 
  • Trial where Etkin News Agency (ETHA) Managing Editor Derya Okatan faces “insult” charges will resume at İstanbul 39th Criminal Court of First Instance this week. Okatan is accused of insulting lawyer Onur Kale based on news reports published on ETHA’s web site that list Kale’s name as one of the people who sexually assaulted 8 women from Mersin Platform for Women while they were in police custody. 

8 July Thursday

  • Trial where complainant Justice and Development Party (AKP) Bursa MP Efkan Ala accuses former Editor-in-Chief Yetkin Yıldız of  “slander” and “libel” will resume before the Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance. Evidence against Yıldız consists of news reports on tweets that are posted from the anonymous twitter account called Fuat Avni.
  • Trial where Evrensel daily’s former Managing Editor Cem Şimşek faces “insulting the president” charges for a news story on German cartoonists who drew Erdoğan will resume at Bakırköy 27th Criminal Court of First Instance.
  • Trial where Cartoonist Öznur Kalender will stand trial for the second hearing of his trial where he’s accused of drawing a cartoon of Cübbeli Ahmet Hodja per the Presidency’s complaint before Anadolu 14th Criminal Court of First Instance. The prosecutor had launched an investigation against Kalender for “offending a society’s religious beliefs by insulting religious figures.”

9 July Friday

  • 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 this week. 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.
  • Sixth hearing of the trial where 38 people including journalists Mustafa Sönmez, Sedef Kabaş, Merdan Yanardağ and Bloomberg Business reporters 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.”

Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.