Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of October 4

This week, the hearings of several journalism and freedom of expression trials will be held. Below is the list of these hearings:

October 5 Tuesday

  • The eighth hearing of the trial where journalist Ruken Demir faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at İzmir 19th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents Demir’s attendance to events which she was following as a reporter and the phone conversations with her sources as evidence against her.
  • The eighth hearing of the trial where Kurdish PEN member, author and poet Meral Şimşek faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Malatya 2nd High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents among other things the poems Şimşek shared on her social media accounts and awards on which congratulations text is inscribed in Kurdish as evidence against Şimşek. The prosecution demands imprisonment up to 22 years for Şimşek.

October 6 Wednesday

  • The ninth hearing of the trial where HDP Diyarbakır Branch’s Press Consultant Vedat Dağ faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terror propaganda” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 11th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents Dağ’s attendance to HDP events as a press member, the posts he shared about these events on his social media account and secret witness testimonies as evidence against Dağ. Dağ is accused of conducting media operations for the KCK Press Committee.
  • The second hearing of the trial where journalist Can Dündar faces “espionage” charges will be held at İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court this week. This case file was first merged with “MİT Truck Trial” where Dündar was sentenced 27 years and 6 months in prison on the charges of  “espionage” and “assisting an armed terrorist organisation”. The case file, however, was later separated at the sentencing hearing on June 8 because Dündar’s statement could not be taken as he lives abroad.

October 7 Thursday

  • The hearing of the trial where nine people including since shuttered Dicle News Agency’s former reporter Selman Keleş face “defying the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations no. 2911”  and “making terror propaganda” charges will be held at Van 4th High Criminal Court this week.
  • The sixth hearing of the 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” charges will be held at İstanbul 34th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents 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 another news report published on BirGün’s website titled “Reason of the confidentiality order in Berkin investigation: Not to defame the murderer” as evidence against the journalists.
  • The 12th hearing of the trial where nine people including Etkin News Agency reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar face “membership in an armed terrorist organization” charges will be held at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents Kayar’s attendance to events which he was following as a reporter and the news reports about his arrest on ETHA as evidence against him.

October 8 Friday

  • The first hearing of the “Gezi Case” which has been merged with the “Çarşı Case” where 51 people including Osman Kavala, Can Dündar and Mehmet Ali Alabora face numerous charges will be held at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court this week. The “Gezi Case” held at the Istanbul 30th High Criminal Court and in which Osman Kavala was also tried was merged with the “Çarşı Case” four days before the hearing scheduled for 6 August.
  • The 25th hearing of the trial where 83 people including former Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Engin Eren face “membership in a terrorist organization”, “defying the Law on Assemblies and Demonstrations no. 2911” and “defying the Military Restricted Zones and Security Zones Law no. 2565” charges will be held at Batman 2nd High Criminal Court this week. Engin was detained in 2015 while he was following “the human shield protest” organized by civil society organizations and HDP in Batman to stop the fight between PKK and the Turkish Armed Forces.
  • The hearing of the trial where exiled artist Ferhat Tunç faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents eight tweets which Tunç had shared on his personal account and in which he criticized the Turkish army’s “Olive Branch operation” in Afrin, Syria as evidence against him.
  • The fourth hearing of the trial where photographer and poet Mehmet Özer faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Ankara 2nd High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents six Facebook posts which Özer had shared on his personal account between 2012 and 2015 as evidence against him.