Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 22

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

23 June Tuesday

  • Trial where Artı Gerçek correspondent Rıfat Doğan is accused of allegedly video-recording at the courtroom during the hearing of the Çorlu high-speed train accident trial where victims’ relatives weren’t allowed inside will resume at Çorlu 4th Criminal Court of First Instance.

24 June Wednesday

  • Journalists who were arrested in March 2020 for their reporting on the death of a Turkish intelligence agent in Libya will appear before the İstanbul 34th High Criminal Court for the first hearing of their trial. Oda TV Editor-in-Chief Barış Pehlivan, News Director Barış Terkoğlu, and Hülya Kılınç who is a reporter from Manisa, Turkey; Yeni Yaşam newspaper Editor-in-Chief Ferhat Çelik and Managing Editor Aydın Keser; Yeniçağ newspaper columnist Murat Ağırel are accused of “Disclosing of information relating to the security and political interests of the state” (Turkish Penal Code Art. 329/1) and “Obtaining documents and information relating to National Intelligence Organization’s duties and operations” (Law on State Intelligence Services and the National Intelligence Organization Art. 27/3) charges. Journalist Erk Acarer is tried without detention. 
  • Eighth 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. 
  • First hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily columnist Ender İmrek is accused of “publicly insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife Emine Erdoğan in a column will be held at Bakırköy 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. İmrek is charged with “insult” for a column on Ms. Erdoğan’s Hermes bag and the trial of CHP İstanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu
  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Erhan Akbaş faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Van 7th High Criminal Court this week. Akbaş is among 11 defendants and is charged for his municipal work he conducted while he had a seat at the Erciş Municipality Council. Secret witness statements, police investigation records and tapes of their phone conversations are used as evidence against the defendants. 

25 June Thursday

  • Trial where Artı TV Ankara correspondent Sibel Hürtaş and journalist Hayri Demir face “terrorist propaganda” and “inciting the public to hatred and animosity” charges for their social media posts will resume at Ankara 15th High Criminal Court. Hürtaş and Demir are among 11 defendants who stand trial for their social media posts.
  • Tenth hearing of the 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. 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.
  • First hearing of the trial where journalist Sabiha Temizkan faces “making terror propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court. The indictment lists only one tweet Temizkan had posted in 2014, in which she shares a news story on ISIS capturing Makhmur refugee camp in Northern Iraq. 
  • Trial where journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan is charged with not publishing a refutation to one of his articles published in Taraf daily in 2010 will resume at Anadolu 10th Criminal Court of First Instance. Altan was sued for an article published on 4 January 2010 in Taraf daily titled “Death is the Father’s Order” but the prosecution was suspended. Last fall, Ahmet Altan was handed down a prison sentence for “insulting the president” charges by İstanbul 32nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Once that sentence was upheld, this case was also reopened.
  • First hearing of the trial where freelance journalist Oktay Candemir faces “preventing a public officer from performing their duty” and defying “Law no. 2911 on Assemblies and Demonstrations” charges will be held at Van 4th High Criminal Court. An investigation was launched against Candemir in May 2019 when he was following a press statement of HDP officials, which the police intervened, as a reporter.