Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of October 26

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

27 October Tuesday

  • Third hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily’s former Managing Editor Cem Şimşek faces “insulting the president” charges for a news story on German cartoonists who drew Erdoğan will resume at Bakırköy 27th Criminal Court of First Instance.
  • Trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Hazal Ocak faces “insulting a public officer via print media” charges for a news report from January 20, 2020 titled “The son-in-law knows the deal” will be begin at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week.  Ocak is accused of her reporting on President Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak bought land from the Kanal İstanbul route a year after this mega-project was announced. 
  • Third hearing of the trial where former Halk TV executive and journalist Hakan Aygün faces “publicly degrades the religious values of a section of the public” charges for a tweet criticizing the government for demanding donations to combat COVID-19 will be held at Bodrum 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance. Aygün was taken under police custody on April 2 for this tweet and was arrested for “inciting the public to hatred” and “insult” charges on April 3. Journalist Aygün was released pending trial during the first hearing which was held on May 6, 2020. 
  • The trial where four Middle East Technical University (METU) students face “insulting the president” charges for the banner they carried during the commencement ceremony will resume at Ankara 11th Criminal Court of First Instance. The person who allegedly printed the banner also stands trial. The concerned banner refers to a cartoon of Turkish magazine Penguen from 2006, which shows Erdoğan as different kinds of animals with the caption “Kingdom of Tayyips.” 
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where former Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Mehmet Sait Değer faces “terror propaganda” charges will be held at Batman 3rd High Criminal Court this week.

28 October Wednesday