Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of October 21 – 25

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

October 22, Tuesday
  • 15th hearing of the KCK Press trial where 46 journalists face terror-related charges, which has been dragging for the past 7 years, will take place at İstanbul 3rd High Criminal Court this week. 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. Interviews, photos, press briefs that they attended, correspondence with news resources and many other journalistic activities were used as evidence against them in the indictment. 
  • First hearing of the trial where Yeni Yaşam newspaper’s Managing Editor Osman Akın faces “successively making terrorist propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization” charges was held at İstanbul 28th High Criminal Court. The indictment lists four news stories published in Yeni Yaşam newspaper on February 15th, 2019 as evidence for terrorist propaganda: a news story titled “100 days in resistance,” a news story on Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-president and People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Hakkari MP Leyla Güven’s hunger strike, a news story titled “They’re walking for sunnier days,” and finally a news story titled “20th year of solitary confinement in İmralı.”  
  • Fifteenth hearing of the trial where journalist Uğur Yılmaz, whom MLSA defends in court, faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges for his journalistic activities was held at Bitlis 2nd High Criminal Court. Yılmaz is tried whilst in detention and has been detained since July 17, 2017. Yılmaz used to work at the Bitlis Municipality’s Press Bureau. His reporting and social media posts from that period is presented as evidence against him in this trial.
October 23, Wednesday
  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist Hayri Demir is accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Ankara 15th High Criminal Court this week. This new trial received media attention because evidence presented in the indictment included footage and photographs taken by Demir while he was covering news in Syria. This footage was inside a memory card from a camera that was stolen from Demir’s home in Ankara. 
October 24, Thursday
  • 21st 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 10th High Criminal Court in Kartal, İstanbul.
  • The trial where Oda TV Ankara News Director Müyesser Yıldız faces “libel” charges will resume at Ankara 35th Criminal Court of First Instance this week.