Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of October 14 – 18

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

October 15, Tuesday
  • Fourth 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 Istanbul 25th High Criminal Court. Adil Demirci was released on February 14, 2019 after a 10-month detainment.
  • The trial where former Zaman daily columnist Mümtazer Türköne faces “insulting the president” charges for his column published in Zaman on 27 October 2015 titled “Trustee appointed to Koza-İpek: the Dictator must have gone crazy” will resume at Bakırköy 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will take place at İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court. Şahin and Gayıp were released with judicial control measures and house arrest following a 14-month detainment during the previous hearing, which was held on June 13, 2019.
  • Seventh hearing of the trial where since shuttered Zaman daily’s Konya correspondent Şirin Kabakçı faces“membership in a terrorist organization” charges will take place at İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court. Kabakçı was released from prison during the fourth hearing following a 19-month detention.
  • Third hearing of the 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 be held at Anadolu 33rd Criminal Court of First Instance in Kartal, İstanbul. 
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where a group of Boğaziçi University students face “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges for protesting against another group of students who served Turkish delight to celebrate Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, Syria on 9 March 2018 will take place at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court. 
  • First hearing of the trial where since shuttered Taraf daily’s former Managing Editor Bülent Onur Şahin appears before court for failing to publish a correction in relation to the news story titled  “A new formula is seeked for the Sabah and ATV pool” will be held at Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Şahin had previously been acquitted in this case but the Court of Cassation’s 19th Penal Chamber has overturned this ruling. 
October 16, Wednesday
  • Third hearing of the trial where journalist Beritan Canözer faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” will be held at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court this week. Canözer faces these allegations because of the news stories she published during the curfews that were in place in Diyarbakır’s Sur district. 
October 17, Thursday
  • Journalist Çiğdem Toker will appear before the Ankara 13th Civil Court of First Instance for the second hearing of the trial where she’s sued for an article on public procurements. Toker was sued by Şenbay Mining Inc. with a request of 1.5 million Turkish Liras in reparations for her article titled “If you’re looking to reduce spending, start with subway tenders,” which was published in Cumhuriyet daily on October 27th, 2017.
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel faces “terrorist propaganda” and “provoking the people to hatred and animosity” charges will resume at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court. Yücel, who is represented by MLSA, was imprisoned for a year in Turkey and is now tried in absentia. The prosecutor demands up to 18 years in prison for him. Yücel presented his defense statement in the case on May 10, 2019 in a Berlin court. 
October 18, Friday
  • Third hearing of the trial where journalist İdris Yılmaz, whom MLSA represents in court, faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Van 5th High Criminal Court. Yılmaz had previously been convicted for “membership in a terrorist organization” charges and was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison. An appellate court had overturned this decision and the case was reopened and merged with another file where Yılmaz faced the same charge. A verdict is expected during this hearing.