Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of October 28 – November 1

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

October 28, Monday 
  • Tenth hearing of the trial where Sözcü newspaper reporter Gökmen Ulu, Sözcü’s website’s former News Editor Mediha Olgun, Chief Financial Officer Yonca Yücekaleli are tried with “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member” charges and the newspaper’s owner Burak Akbay is tried with “leading an armed terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for an armed terrorist organization” charges will take place at İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court. Two separate Sözcü cases have recently been merged; hence, journalists Metin Yılmaz, Mustafa Çetin, Necati Doğru, Yücel Arı and Emin Çölaşan face the same allegations as part of this trial. The verdict is expected to be announced during this hearing.  
October 30, Wednesday 
  • Third hearing of the trial where jailed journalist and writer Ahmet Altan is charged with not publishing a refutation to one of his articles published in Taraf daily in 2010 will be held at Anadolu 10th Criminal Court of First Instance. Altan was sued for an article published on 4 January 2010 in Taraf daily titled “Death is the Father’s Order” but the prosecution was suspended. Last fall, Ahmet Altan was handed down a prison sentence for “insulting the president” charges by İstanbul 32nd Criminal Court of First Instance. Once that sentence was upheld, this case was also reopened.
October 31, Thursday 
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court
  • Trial where Cumhuriyet daily’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar faces “securing information that, due to its nature, must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security or domestic or foreign political interests of the state for the purposes of espionage” and “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” charges for publishing the news report on National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) 18-wheeler trucks carrying weapons across the border will resume at İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court.  
  • Second hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily’s former Managing Editor Cem Şimşek face “insulting the president” charges for a news story on German cartoonists who drew Erdoğan will be held at Bakırköy 27th Criminal Court of First Instance.
  • Seventh hearing of the trial where former Zaman daily columnist Mümtazer Türköne, who is imprisoned faces “insulting the president” charges for his column published in Zaman on March 16, 2014 titled “Would he be this bad if he didn’t have to?” will resume at Bakırköy 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance
  • Fifth hearing of the trial where Kurdistan 24 Turkish reporter Cesim İlhan faces “terrorist propaganda” charges because of his social media posts will wil be held at Bingöl 2nd High Criminal Court. İlhan, whom MLSA represents in court, is attending the hearing via video-conference from İstanbul.