Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of May 17

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

20 May Thursday

  • Trial where Vice News reporters Philip John Pendlebury and Philip Gingell Hanrahan face “membership in a terrorist organization by willingly and knowingly aiding and abetting, “terrorist propaganda, and “opposing the Law on the Prevention of Financing of Terrorism” will resume at Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court this week. Pendlebury and Hanrahan were arrested in Diyarbakır in September 2015 and were deported shortly. 

21 May Friday

  • Re-trial of the Gezi Trial will begin before the İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court this week. The court had separated the case-file of 7 defendants who live abroad and acquitted Osman Kavala, Ayşe Mücella Yapıcı, Ali Hakan Altınay, Çiğdem Mater Utku, Mine Özerden, Şerafettin Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, Yiğit Aksakoğlu and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi of all charges during the final hearing held on February 18, 2020. Following an appeals court’s decision to overturn the acquittal of nine defendants, the case where business person Osman Kavala and academic Henri J. Barkey were accused of organizing the July 15 coup attempt was merged with the original Gezi case on February 5, 2021. Following this development, the case-file of Ayşe Pınar Alabora, Can Dündar, Gökçe Tüylüoğlu, Handan Meltem Arıkan, Hanzade Hikmet Germiyanoğlu, İnanç Ekmekçi and Mehmet Ali Alabora, whose files were separated at the end of the Gezi trial, was also merged with this case in the last hearing which was held on April 28, 2021. Therefore, the second Gezi-related trial will resume and 16 defendants will be re-tried together once again under the same case-file. 
  • Thirteenth hearing of the trial where 8 people including journalist  Kenan Kırkaya face “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will resume at Ankara 32nd High Criminal Court this week.  The indictment lists secret witness testimonies, working for since shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA), and Kırkaya’s news show titled “Looking at Ankara” for Nûçe TV as evidence for membership in a terrorist organization.
  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist Melis Alphan faces “terror propaganda” charges for an image she posted on her personal Instagram account on March 21, 2015 will be held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court this week. The indictment claims that Alphan’s concerned post shows PKK flags and posters of Öcalan, arguing that “the terrorist organization is praised” and that Alphan is “acting towards inciting sympathy towards the terrorist organization.”