Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 15

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

16 June Tuesday
  • Sixth hearing of the trial where 22 defendants, including German-Turkish dual citizen Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter and social worker Adil Demirci, are tried on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization” will be held at İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court. Adil Demirci was released on February 14, 2019 after a 10-month detainment.
  • Fifteenth hearing of the trial where since shut Özgür Gündem daily’s former Co-Editor-in-Chief  Hüseyin Aykol, former Managing Editor Reyhan Çapan and reporters İslam Tüner, Lütfi Yavuzaslan, Methi Kaya, Hasan Başak and Kemal Yakut face “terrorist propaganda,” “provoking to commit a crime” and “praising an offense or an offender” charges because of Özgür Gündem’s reporting on “self-governance” in Kurdish provinces in March 2016 will resume at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court.
  • Re-trial of HDP Co-Vice President and Van MP Tayip Temel will begin at Diyarbakır 2nd High Criminal Court this week. Temel was initially sentenced to 18 years in prison for “founding and managing a terrorist organization” while he was tried in the KCK Main Trial; however, the Supreme Court had overturned his sentence last year. Kurdish newspaper Azadiye Welat’s former Editor-in-Chief Temel was arrested on October 8, 2011 and remained in prison until July 1, 2014. 
17 June Wednesday
  • Cumhuriyet reporter Hazal Ocak and the newspaper’s publisher Alev Coşkun will appear before the İstanbul Anadolu 14th Civil Court of First Instance for the fourth hearing of the trial where they’re sued for a news story published on 6 October 2019 titled “Luxury fixture with a view of the Bosphorus” with Ocak’s signature. Ocak and Coşkun were sued by Cengiz Conglomerate’s Mehmet Cengiz with a request of 1 million Turkish Liras, claiming that “his reputation was tarnished.”
  • Third hearing of the trial where Jin News reporter Beritan Canözer faces “terrorist propaganda” charges for her Twitter and Facebook posts as well as posts she had liked between 2013 – 2016 will be held at Diyarbakır 11th High Criminal Court this week
18 June Thursday
  • Sixth hearing of the trial where former Gelî Kurdistan TV cameraman Rojhat Doğru faces “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state,” “membership in a terrorist organization,” and “terror propaganda” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court. While Doğru is tried without detention in this case, he was arrested on May 23 for sending money to a friend in prison. Doğru faces these charges for his social media posts, reporting on the Kobanî protests of October 6 – 8, 2014, several interviews he conducted, and secret witness statements against him. 
  • First hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Hazal Ocak faces “insulting a public officer via print media” charges for a news report from January 20, 2020 titled “The son-in-law knows the deal” will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week.  Ocak is accused of her reporting on President Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak bought land from the Kanal İstanbul route a year after this mega-project was announced. 
19 June Friday 
  • Second 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.