Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of November 18 – 22

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

November 19, Tuesday
  • Trial where since shut down Taraf daily’s former Managing Editor Bülent Onur Şahin appears before court for failing to publish a correction in the newspaper will resume at Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance
  • Second hearing of the trial where Lyon-1 University faculty member and peace petition signatory Associate Professor Tuna Altınel faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges for attending an event organized by Lyon Rhône-Alpes Kurdish Friendship Association on 21 February 2019, titled ‘Cizre: The Story of a Massacre’ will resume at Balıkesir 2nd High Criminal Court. Altınel was arrested on May 11, 2019 and was released pending trial during the first hearing that was held on July 30, 2019. 
November 21, Thursday
  • The retrial of former Cumhuriyet daily staffers will resume at İstanbul 27th High Criminal Court this week. 16th Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation had overturned the convictions against Akın Atalay, Orhan Erinç, Murat Sabuncu, Aydın Engin, Hikmet Çetinkaya and Ahmet Şık on September 12, 2019. The Chamber also ruled for a stay of execution concerning Önder Çelik, Bülent Utku, Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Hakan Kara and Mustafa Kemal Güngör, who were handed down sentences lesser than 5 years in the same case. The Chamber demanded all to be acquitted except Ahmet Şık. While overturning Ahmet Şık’s 7 year and 6 month conviction for “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member” charges, the Chamber ruled Şık to be tried instead per “making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization,” “printing and publishings declarations or announcements of terrorist organizations,” and “denigrating the Turkish nation” charges.
  • 13rd hearing of the trial where since shut Özgür Gündem daily’s former Co-Editors-in-Chief Eren Keskin, 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.   
November 22, Friday
  • Third hearing of the trial where writer Fikret Başkaya is charged with terrorist propaganda will be held at Ankara 21st High Criminal Court. Başkaya is charged because of an article titled “The Real Terror is State Terror,” published on the Free University’s website (http://ozguruniversite.org), which is affiliated with the Forum for Turkey and the Middle East, founded and headed by him.
  • First hearing of the trial where 11 people including journalists Berfin Aslan and Mehmet Şahin, who were taken into police custody during the protests against trustees being appointed to Kurdish provinces instead of elected mayors on August 23, 2019 will be held at İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court. Defendants  are accused of “attending illegal assemblies and demonstrations without arms and not dispersing despite police’s orders.”