Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of November 25 – 29

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

November 26, Tuesday
  • First hearing of the trial where BirGün daily’s Managing Editors Barış İnce and Cansever Uğur, as well as Executive Board President İbrahim Aydın and member Bülent Yılmaz face “willingly and knowingly aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member” charges for news stories that were published in the newspaper about the anonymous Twitter account titled ‘fuatavni’ between 2014 and 2016 will be held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court
  • Seventh hearing of the trial where 23 defendants including Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor İsminaz Temel and reporter Havva Cuştan face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will resume at the İstanbul 27th High Criminal Court. Temel had been released during the fourth hearing following a 16-month detainment. 
  • Second hearing of the trial where since shuttered Taraf daily’s former Managing Editor Bülent Onur Şahin faces “defying the Capital Markets Law” charges for two news stories that were published on July 22, 2014 in the paper about financial hardships of Turkish Airlines will take place at İstanbul 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance. Turkish Airlines is the complainant in the case.
November 27, Wednesday
  • Tenth hearing of the trial where human rights activists Taner Kılıç, İdil Eser, Özlem Dalkıran, Günal Kurşun, Veli Acu, Ali Garawi, Peter Steudtner, İlknur Üstün, Nalan Erkem, Nejat Taştan and Şeyhmus Özbekli (also called the İstanbul Ten) face “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member” charges for attending a meeting titled “Protecting Human Rights Advocates: Digital Security” at Buyukada, Istanbul will take place at İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court. 
November 28, Thursday
  • Fourteenth hearing of the “Özgür Gündem main trial” where 9 people including since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily’s writers and executive staff face “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state,” “establishing an organization for the purpose of committing crimes,” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court. Those who stand trial are: Filiz Koçali, Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay, Ragıp Zarakolu, Zana Kaya, İnan Kızılkaya, Eren Keskin, Kemal Sancılı and Bilge Aykut.
  • Eleventh hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar face “publishing statements that legitimize or praise terrorist organization’s methods” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges for participating in the “Editors-in-Chief-on-Watch” campaign in solidarity with Özgür Gündem daily will be held at İstanbul 22nd High Criminal Court
  • Ninth hearing of the trial where since shuttered Özgür Gündem daily’s former publisher Kemal Sancılı and former Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya face “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 27th High Criminal Court. Journalists face this charge for three news stories published in the newspaper in 2016.
  • Tenth hearing of the trial where journalists Aziz Oruç, Selman Keleş, Özgür Paksoy, Kenan Kırkaya, İshak Yasul and Ersin Çaksu face “denigrating the Turkish nation” charges per Turkish Penal Code’s notorious Article 301 for various news stories published in Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper between October 21 – November 1, 2016 will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
  • First hearing of the trial where since shuttered Azadiya Welat daily’s former Batman representative Deniz Kılıç face “making terrorist propaganda” charges for seven Facebook posts from 2014 and 2015 will be held at Batman 2nd High Criminal Court. Photos Kılıç took from Newroz celebrations are presented as evidence in the indictment which requests up to 5 years for Kılıç 
  • Third hearing of the trial where since shuttered Taraf daily’s former Managing Editor Bülent Onur Şahin and Editor-in-Chief Neşe Düzel face are charged with not publishing a refutation regarding a story published in the paper on Feb 11, 2014 titled “The Porn Lobby is from the Pro-Government Camp” is being held at Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Düzel and Şahin, whom MLSA represents in court, were acquitted in this case in 2015 but the Court of Cassation had overturned this ruling in May 2019. The case was reopened following the higher court’s decision.