Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 14

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 14
This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

15 June Tuesday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet daily’s former reporter Alican Uludağ and Managing Editor Olcay Büyüktaş Akça face “disclosing or publishing the identity of a public official on anti-terrorist duty and identifying them as a target via press” charges will be held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court this week. Journalists stand trial for Uludağ’s news report published on 22 November 2019, which revealed that law enforcement were tipped off about the Ankara railway station bombing 8 days prior to the attack but sat on this information. Indictment claims that sharing the name and address of the whistleblower’s workplace goes beyond “the right to inform the public.”
  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Ayşe Kara faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court. Kara was briefly detained on June 26, 2020 as part of an investigation launched against Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in Diyarbakır and was later released with judicial control measures. The indictment against Kara lists her memberships to Free Women’s Congress (KJA), Free Journalists’ Association (ÖGC) as evidence against the journalist, claiming that she ran operations inside DTK. Indictment also lists Kara’s coverage of a march organized by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Mardin in 2016 as evidence for “membership in a terrorist organization.”

17 June Thursday

  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Oktay Candemir faces “making terror propaganda” charges will be held at Van 5th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment lists footage and photos found in digital materials confiscated from Candemir’s home during a police raid from April 5, 2019 as evidence against the journalist. The indictment claims that 4 posts on Candemir’s personal Facebook account include PKK flags and photos Candemir took during Democratic Society Party’s (DTP) various meetings held in Ağrı, Kars and Iğdır in 2005 - 2009 are presented as evidence against the journalist. 
  • Second hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Hazal Ocak is sued by former Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak with a request of 200k TRY will be held at İstanbul 8th Civil Court of First Instance this week. Ocak is sued for a news report published in Cumhuriyet on January 20, 2020 titled “Son-in-law knows the deal” which revealed that Albayrak had purchased land on the Kanal İstanbul route. The petition claims that Ocak’s reporting “twists the truth, is unrealistic and insulting” while also aiming to “defame Albayrak and slander his reputation.” 

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.