Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of November 22

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

22 November Monday

  • The sixth hearing of the trial where journalist Nurcan Yalçın faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court, at 09.55 am. Yalçın was indicted as part of the investigation launched against Rosa Women’s Association, a Diyarbakır-based civil society organization founded in December 2018. The indictment presents a secret witness statement where the witness claimed that Yalçın is a “senior executive” of the Rosa Association and documents confiscated while the Association’s headquarters were raided, as evidence against Yalçın.

23 November Tuesday

  • The 12th hearing of the trial where Vice News reporters Philip John Pendlebury, Jacob Philip John Gingell (Jake) Hanrahan, translator Mohammed İsmael Rasool and their fixer 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” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 8th High Criminal Court, at 09.00. Pendlebury and Hanrahan came to Diyarbakır in August to document the events in Cizre, Silopi, Nusaybin and Sur where a curfew had been imposed. The reporters were arrested in Diyarbakır in August 2015 and were subsequently deported.
  • The 11th hearing of the trial where Fırat Yeşilçınar, Doğan Güzel, Sinan Balık, Davut Uçar, Yılmaz Bozkurt , Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Zeki Erden, Özgür Paksoy, Mesut Kaynar, Hüseyin Gündüz, Kemal Bozkurt,Gökhan Çetin , Sevdiye Ergürbüz, Önder Elaldı, Ender Öndeş, Gülfem Karataş, Burcu Özkaya  and Elif Aydoğmuş whom MLSA represents in court, face “prevention of public duty” and “insulting a public official” charges will be held at İstanbul 5th Criminal Court of the First Instance, at 10.00. On August 16, 2016, İstanbul 8th Criminal Court of Peace had closed down the Özgür Gündem daily on the charges of “spreading terrorist propaganda.” The police raided the Özgür Gündem daily’s on the very same day and took 22 journalists in custody. The journalists were held in custody for 14 days and were referred to the prosecutor’s office. The trial of the journalists began on February 9, 2018 at İstanbul 5th Criminal Court of the First Instance. On the ninth hearing of the trial, the court had decided to separate the files of four defendants from the case file.
  • The 23rd hearing of the KCK Press trial where 46 journalists including Dilek Demiral whom MLSA represents in court, face terror-related charges, which has been going on for the past 10 years, will take place at İstanbul 3rd High Criminal Court, at 10.10. 32 journalists out of the 46 who were taken into custody on December 20, 2011 were arrested on December 24 as part of an operation towards Kurdish media including Dicle News Agency, Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Demokratik Modernite and Fırat Distribution Inc. The indictment presents interviews, photos, press briefs that the journalists attended, correspondence with news resources and many other journalistic activities as evidence against the journalists.
  • The second hearing of the trial where video activist and documentarist Oktay İnce faces “insulting the president” charges will be held at Kemalpaşa 1st Criminal Court of First Instance, at 11.55. The indictment presents 10 social media posts İnce had shared between 2014-2019 as evidence against him. At the first hearing of the trial on October 19, the prosecutor presented his opinion and requested that İnce be sentenced for the charges.
  • The second hearing of the trial where 14 members of Kocaeli Student Solidarity and EMEP Central Executive Board Member Tarık Erkan, the Head of the Kocaeli Branch of the Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim Sen) Suphi Yıldırım and the Branch Secretary Ömer Furkan Özdemir face “defying the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations no. 2911” and “prevention of public duty” charges will be held at Kocaeli 5th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 14.10. 17 people stand trial for attending the press release organized by Kocaeli Student Solidarity on February 11 to show solidarity with the students of Boğaziçi University who had been detained at the protests against “the appointed rector” Melih Bulu. The indictment presents a banner inscribed with “We will not look down, we will not bow down” and the slogan “the appointed rector will go, we will stay” as evidence against 17 people.

24 November Wednesday

  • The third hearing of the trial where Koray Çağlayan, Volkan Uyar, Leman Yurtsever, Levent Gökçek, Lezgin Özalp, Maside Ocak, Mehmet Günel, Muhammed Emin Ekinci, Ayça Çevik, Besna Koç, Cafer Balcı, Can Danyal Aktaş, Cihan Oral Gülünay, Cüneyt Yılmaz, Deniz Koç, Ercan Süslü, Ezgi Çevik, Faruk Eren, Fecri Çalboğa, Ferhat Ergen, Gamze Elvan, Hakan Koç, Hasan Akbaba, Hasan Karakoç, Jiyan Tosun, Kenan Yıldızerler, Murat Akbaş, Rober Koptaş, Onur Yanardağ, Osman Akın, Özer Oymak, Özge Elvan, Ramazan Bayram, Rüşa Sabur, Sadettin Köse, Adil Can Ocak, Ahmet Karaca, Ahmet Süleyman Benli, Ali Ocak, Ali Yiğit Karaca, Atakan Taşbilek, Ataman Doğa Kıroğlu, Saime Sebla Arcan, Sinan Arslan, Ulaş Bedri Çelik and Koray Kesik whom MLSA represents in the court, face “defying the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations no. 2911” charges will be held at  İstanbul 21st Criminal Court of First Instance, at 10.30. The 46 defendants who were detained when the police attacked Saturday Mothers/People’s 700th Week meeting at Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square include members of the Saturday Mothers/People, human rights defenders and journalists who were reporting on the meeting.

25 November Thursday

  • The second hearing of the trial where PEN Germany’s President and Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel faces “degrading the Turkish Nation, State of the Turkish Republic, Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial bodies of the State” and “insulting the President” charges will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, at 10.00. İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court had sentenced journalist Yücel to 2 years and 9 months in prison for “making terror propaganda” charges last July and alongside the verdict, had ruled to file additional lawsuits against journalist Deniz Yücel for “insulting the president” and “publicly degrading the Turkish Nation, State of the Turkish Republic, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial bodies” charges based on two separate articles he penned for Die Welt in late 2016.
  • The first hearing of the trial where 52 students of Boğaziçi University face “defying the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations no. 2911” and “deprivation of liberty” charges will be held at İstanbul 49th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 10.15. The indictment presents the social media posts with the tag #bundansonrasıbizde and the slogans the students shouted as evidence against them.
  • The first hearing of the trial where artist Genco Erkal faces “insulting the president” charges will be held at İstanbul 16th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 10.25. The indictment presents social media posts from 2016 as evidence against Erkal.
  • The fifth hearing of the trial where journalist Fatih Gönül faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Ankara 25th High Criminal Court, at 11.00. The indictment presents football matches organized by Gönül and his activities at Dicle News Agency (DİHA) which is claimed to be operating under directives from a terrorist organization as evidence against him.

26 November Friday

  • The second hearing of the “Gezi Case” which has been merged with the “Çarşı Case” where 51 people including Osman Kavala, Can Dündar and Mehmet Ali Alabora face numerous charges will be held at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, at 10.00. The “Gezi Case” held at the Istanbul 30th High Criminal Court and in which Osman Kavala was also tried was merged with the “Çarşı Case” four days before the hearing scheduled for 6 August.