Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of September 27

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

27 September Monday

  • The fourth hearing of the trial where human rights defender, lawyer Nurcan Kaya whom MLSA represents in court, faces “making terror propaganda” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents tweets that Kaya had shared on her personal account, including a tweet in which Kaya commented on the resistance by the people of Kobanê during the ISIS attack on the town, as evidence against Kaya. The prosecution demands up to seven and half years imprisonment for Kaya.

28 September Tuesday

  • The 15th hearing of the trial where nine people including journalist Kenan Kırkaya face “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Ankara 14th High Criminal Court this week.  The indictment presents secret witness testimonies, employment at since shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA), and Kırkaya’s news show titled “Looking at Ankara” for Nûçe TV as evidence against Kırkaya.
  • The hearing of the trial where journalist Burhan Ekinci whom MLSA represents in court, faces “making terror propaganda” charges will be held at İstanbul 30th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents seven tweets he had shared on his personal account as evidence against Ekinci.

29 September Wednesday

  • The fifth hearing of the trial where journalist Nurcan Yalçın faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terror propaganda” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court this week. Yalçın was indicted as part of the investigation launched against Rosa Women’s Association, a Diyarbakır-based civil society organization founded in December 2018. The indictment presents a secret witness statement claiming that she is a “senior executive” of the Rosa Association and documents confiscated while the Association’s headquarters were raided as evidence against Yalçın.

30 September Thursday

  • The third hearing of the retrial where Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin face “making terrorist propaganda”, “inciting the committing of crimes” and “praising crime and criminals charges” will be held at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court this week. Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Erol Önderoğlu are being retried at the “Özgür Gündem Solidarity Trial” after the 3rd Penal Chamber of Istanbul Regional Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal verdict of three human rights defenders on November 3, 2020.
  • The fourth hearing of the trial where 38 people including Özgür Gelecek reporter Taylan Özgür Öztaş and Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Tunahan Turhan face “defying the Law no. 2911 on Assemblies and Demonstrations” charges will be held at Anadolu 13th Criminal Court of First Instance. Öztaş was taken in police custody on August 22, 2019, at the protest which he was following as a reporter and Turhan was taken in custody later in the evening that day when the police raided his house. Both journalists were released with judicial control measures after giving their statements at the prosecutor’s office.
  • The third hearing of the trial where journalist Abdurrahman Gök faces “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court this week. The indictment presents phone conversations with news sources, social media posts, and the content of his news reports as evidence against Gök. The prosecution demands up to 20 years imprisonment for Gök.
  • The first hearing of the trial where Birgün Newspaper Sports Editor Eren Tutel faces “insulting a public official” charges will be held at Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week. The case was brought against Tutel who reported on the scandals at Turkey Wushu Federation (TWF) upon the complaint of TWF Deputy Chairman Abdurrahman Akyüz and his daughter Elif Akyüz. The prosecution demands up to two years imprisonment for Tutel.