Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of November 1

This week, the hearings of several journalism and freedom of expression trials will be held. Below is the list of these hearings:

November 2 Tuesday

  • The 19th hearing of the trial where former aktifhaber.com Editor-in-Chief Yetkin Yıldız faces “slander” and “libel” charges will be held at Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance. Yıldız is on trial after former Interior Minister Efkan Ala filed a complaint against him. The evidence against Yıldız consists of news reports on tweets that are posted from the anonymous Twitter account called Fuat Avni.
  • The 18th hearing of the trial where journalist Can Dündar and since shuttered Özgür Gündem newspaper’s former Editor-in-Chief İnan Kızılkaya face “insulting a public official” charges will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week. Dündar had participated in the “Editors-in-Chief on Watch” campaign launched in solidarity with Özgür Gündem in 2016. The indictment was prepared after judge Bekir Altun’s complaint, who claimed that the news report titled “The regime’s most useful judge,” which was published on 22 June 2016 – the day when Dündar appeared as the Editor-in-Chief of Özgür Gündem for solidarity – violates his personal rights.
  • The fifth hearing of the trial where poet, author and journalist Azad Zal faces “membership in a terrorist organisation” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents Zal’s delegacy at the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), his memberships in since shuttered the Kurdish Language Research and Development Association (KURDİ-DER) and Kurdish Authors’ Association and his reception of condolences over the phone after her sister’s death who was a PKK member and his efforts to find a guest for television show as evidence against him.

November 3 Wednesday

  • The 21st hearing of the trial where since shuttered Özgür Gündem daily’s former Co-Editor-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol, former Managing Editor Reyhan Çapan and writers Hasan Başak and Kemal Yakut face “terrorist propaganda,” “provoking to commit a crime” and “praising an offense or an offender” charges will be held at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. The indictment presents the news reports and articles in March 2016 in Özgür Gündem about “self-governance” in Kurdish provinces.
  • The third hearing of the trial where poet, author and journalist Yılmaz Odabaşı faces “insulting the president” charges will be held at Yalova 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week. The indictment presents a 2018 tweet which Odabaşı shared on his personal account and in which he criticized the presidential elections at that time as evidence against Odabaşı.