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Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 24 – 28

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

24 June Monday

  • First hearing of the Gezi Park trial will be held at the courtroom inside the Silivri Penitentiaries Campus. The case has 16 defendants and is held by the İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court. Business person Osman Kavala and civil society professional Yiğit Aksakoğlu are tried whilst in detention whereas Memet Ali Alabora, Can Dündar, Ali Hakan Altınay, Mücella Yapıcı, Pınar Öğün Alabora, Çiğdem Mater, Gökçe Yılmaz, Meltem Arıkan, Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu, İnanç Ekmekci, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi are tried without detention. The prosecutor demands aggravated life sentences for all 16 defendants on charges of “attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.”

26 June Wednesday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where journalist Sertaç Kayar faces “founding and managing a terrorist organization” charges will resume at Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court. Marches, demonstrations and press conferences that he attended as a journalist in Diyarbakır between 2012-2014 are used as evidence against him.

  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist Beritan Canözer faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” will be held at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court this week. Canözer faces these allegations because of the news stories she published during the curfews that were in place in Diyarbakır’s Sur district.  

  • 17 people have turned themselves in on 18 January 2016 following the 1128 scholars who signed the petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime.” Last month, an indictment that accuses these 17 civil society professionals of “terrorist propaganda” was accepted. First hearing of the trial where industrial engineer Nergiz Savran is tried with “terrorist propaganda” will be held at İstanbul 36th High Criminal Court this week. Savran is among the 17 who turned themselves in in solidarity with the Academics for Peace.

27 June Thursday

  • 17 people have turned themselves in on 18 January 2016 following the 1128 scholars who signed the petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime.” Last month, an indictment that accuses these 17 civil society professionals of “terrorist propaganda” was accepted. First hearing of the trial where economist Necmi Demir is tried with “terrorist propaganda” will be held at İstanbul 28th High Criminal Court this week. Demir is among the 17 who turned themselves in in solidarity with the Academics for Peace.

28 June Friday

  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper’s staff face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court. Three out of fourteen defendants are tried whilst in detention. While since shut-down Özgürlükçü Demokrasi’s owner İhsan Yaşar and editors Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Reyhan Hacıoğlu are tried whilst in detention, Managing Editor İshak Yasul, editor Hicran Urun, Davut Uçar, Ersin Çaksu, Fırat Benli, Günay Aksoy, Mizgin Fendik, Önder Elaldı, Pınar Tarlak, Ramazan Sola and Yılmaz Yıldız stand trial without detainment.

  • Ninth hearing of the trial where Demokratik Modernite journal’s editor Haydar Ergül faces “membership in a terrorist organization charges” will be held at İstanbul 22nd High Criminal Court. 14 members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) stand trial alongside Ergül. Ergül was released during the previous hearing which was held on April 5th after a 15-month detention period.