Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of November 9

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

9 November Monday

  • Journalist Aziz Oruç, who has been in pre-trial detention since 18 December 2019, will appear before the court this week. Third hearing of the trial where Oruç, whom MLSA represents in court, faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at the Ağrı 2nd High Criminal Court.
  • First hearing of the trial where Oda TV Ankara News Director Müyesser Yıldız and Tele1 Ankara representative İsmail Dükel face “disclosing of information relating to the security and political interests of the state” charges will be held at Ankara 26th High Criminal Court this week. Yıldız has been in pre-trial detention since June 12. Dükel and Yıldız were detained in Ankara on June 8, the court ruled for Dükel’s release with judicial control measures and decided to arrest Yıldız due to “reasonable doubt of guilt, possibility to spoil evidence or flee.”
  • Third hearing of the trial where Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporter Ruken Demir faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges based on phone conversations with her news sources will be held at İzmir 19th High Criminal Court this week. Ruken Demir was arrested on November 26, 2019 and was released pending trial during the first hearing.

10 November Tuesday

  • Trial where journalists Ali Açar, Canan Coşkun and Cansever Uğur face “disclosing or publishing the identities of state officials on anti-terror duty and/or identifying them as targets” charge will resume at İstanbul 34th High Criminal Court this week. Journalists Açar and Coşkun are on trial for a news report published in Cumhuriyet daily on 11 March 2016 titled “Cop who allegedly shot Berkin Elvan did not remember his place of duty” and Uğur for another new report published on BirGün’s website titled “Reason of the confidentiality order in Berkin investigation: Not to defame the murderer.” 

11 November Wednesday

  • Ninth hearing of the trial where 22 defendants, including German-Turkish dual citizen Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter and social worker Adil Demirci, are tried on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization” will be held at İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court. Adil Demirci was released on February 14, 2019 after a 10-month detainment.

12 November Thursday

  • Trial where journalist Hayko Bağdat faces “terror propaganda” charges based on nine social media posts from 2017 and 2018 will resume at İstanbul 28th High Criminal Court this week. Social media posts that are used as evidence against Bağdat, whom MLSA represents in court, include retweeting a photo of Osman Kavala and retweeting an interview with PKK leader Cemil Bayık.
  • Trial where Medya Koridoru Editor-in-Chief Canan Kaya is sued by Demirören Media Conglomerate with a request for reparations will be held at Bakırköy 6th Civil Court of First Instance this week. Kaya, whom MLSA represents in court, is sued for a news report published in medyakoridoru.com titled “Scandal at Demirören Medya! Female staffer is forced to resign for walking with her shoes on on the executive floor!” Demirören Medya claims that this news report “humiliates the company and its executives in an unjust and ill-intended manner,” further arguing that it “tarnishes the commercial reputation of the company and constitutes an attack on personal rights by exceeding the scope of freedom of expression and press.” 
  • Second hearing of the trial where Mesopotamia News Agency reporter Berivan Altan faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Mersin 2nd High Criminal Court this week. Altan was detained on November 26, 2019 at her home in Ankara as part of an investigation launched in Mersin. She was released with judicial control measures on December 3, 2019. 
  • Fourth hearing of the trial where journalist Nuri Akman faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges for his reporting from Kobanê, the photos he took there as well as social media posts regarding Kobanê will be held at Malatya 2nd High Criminal Court this week.

13 November Friday

  • Third 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. 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.