Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of November 23

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

23 November Monday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where since shut-down Taraf daily reporter Mehmet Baransu and Managing Editor Murat Şevki Çoban face “disclosing information that must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security, or domestic and foreign political interests of the State through press” charges for a news report published in Taraf on 28 November 2013 titled “The Decision to end Gulen was reached at the National Security Council (MGK) in 2004” will be held at Anadolu 2nd High Criminal Court in Kartal, İstanbul. A verdict is expected during this hearing. During the 22th hearing of the trial last December, Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court ruled for a lack of jurisdiction since the crime was committed via press and sent the case-file over to the Anadolu 2nd High Criminal Court per the prosecutor’s demand despite the Intelligence Agency lawyers protesting against this decision and demanding a verdict.

24 November Tuesday

  • Eleventh 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. 
  • The trial where since shuttered Dicle News Agency reporter Selman Keleş faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will begin at Van 5th High Criminal Court. Keleş was arrested alongside journalist Arif Aslan on 30 March 2017 while taking photos near Van Municipality building as terror suspects and they were released during the first hearing of their trial, which was held on 21 November 2017. While Keleş and Aslan were tried together, Keleş’s file was separated in the eighth hearing which was held on Sept 3, 2020. This is the first hearing of the separated case.
  • Trial where author Temel Demirer faces “praising an offence and the offender ” charges for a speech he gave during a Suruç massacre commemoration that was held in Kadıköy on July 20th, 2017 will resume at Anadolu 33rd Criminal Court of First Instance in Kartal, İstanbul. 

25 November Wednesday

  • Eleventh hearing of the trial where Artı TV Ankara correspondent Sibel Hürtaş and journalist Hayri Demir face “terrorist propaganda” and “inciting the public to hatred and animosity” charges for their social media posts will resume at Ankara 15th High Criminal Court. Hürtaş and Demir are among 11 defendants who stand trial for their social media posts about Turkish military’s operation in Afrin, Syria.
  • Seventh hearing of the trial where Gaziantep’s Şahinbey Municipality demands 20 thousand Turkish liras in reparations from Cumhuriyet newspaper reporter Hazal Ocak will be held at Gaziantep 6th Civil Court of First Instance this week. The municipality demands this reparation for Ocak’s news report titled “Şahinbey’s Tender Trick.” The news report claimed that a car park tender bidding organised by Gaziantep’s Şahinbey Municipality was rigged, that the winner of the tender bid was pre-determined. The article was based on the statements of a CHP council member of the Şahinbey Municipality. The complaint claims that “these far-from-reality claims have hurt the Municipality’s reputation as a legal entity” and demands 20 thousand Liras from the CHP council member as well.

26 November Thursday

  • Eleventh hearing of the trial where journalist Kibriye Evren faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges for her journalistic activities and social media posts will resume at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court. Evren was arrested on Oct 11, 2018 and was tried whilst in detention until the previous hearing. She was released during the eighth hearing of the trial on Nov 11, 2019 following a 13-month detainment.