Upcoming Trials

Journalism and freedom of expression trials: Week of January 17

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

17 January Monday

  • The third 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, at 10:00. 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 17th hearing of the trial where 27 defendants including journalist and translator Meşale Tolu face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Istanbul 29th High Criminal Court, at 10:00.

20 January Thursday

  • The 17th hearing of the trial where journalist Abdullah Kaya faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Ağrı 2nd High Criminal Court, at 09:15. In the indictment, the footage Kaya had recorded at events he had covered in 2014-2015 and social media posts he had shared on his personal account, are presented as evidence against the journalist.
  • The sixth hearing of the trial where journalist Rüstem Batum whom MLSA represents in court, faces “insulting the president” and “inciting the public to hatred” charges will be held at Istanbul 5th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 09:40. The indictment presents 20 tweets Rüstem had posted between 2016 – 2018 as evidence against him.
  • The fourth hearing of the trial where journalist Abdurrahman Gök faces “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court, at 10:30. 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. At the last hearing on September 30, 2021, the court decided to file a criminal complaint against journalist Gök for social media posts which were not included in the indictment.
  • The 17th hearing of the trial where nine people including journalist Kenan Kırkaya face “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Ankara 32nd High Criminal Court, at 14:00. The indictment presents secret witness testimonies, employment at since shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA), and Kırkaya’s news show titled “Ankara’s Agenda” for Nûçe TV as evidence against Kırkaya.

21 January Friday

  • The third hearing of the trial where journalist Vedat Örüç faces “defying the Law no. 2911 on Assemblies and Demonstrations” and “insulting a public officer” charges will be held at İstanbul 18th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 09:30. The testimonies of 12 complainant police officers who claim that the journalist insulted them are among the evidence cited against journalist Örüç, who was detained during covering an event on February 8, 2020.
  • The 38th hearing  of the trial where since shuttered Taraf newspaper’s former administrators Ahmet Altan, Yasemin Çongar and Yıldıray Oğur, reporter Mehmet Baransu, and Aktüel reporter Tuncay Opçin face “establishing or managing a terrorist organization”, “procuring documents concerning the security of the state with other intentions than damaging, procuring or stealing or using said documents outside their intended purpose”, “securing classified information relating to the security of the state, disclosing classified information relating to the security of the state”, “terrorist propaganda” and “disclosing information or documents that, due to their nature, must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security, or domestic or foreign political interests of the State” charges will be held at İstanbul 13rd High Criminal Court, at 10.00 am. In the 276 page indictment, the prosecutor requests imprisonment for Baransu up to 75 years.
  • The 26th hearing of the trial where 76 people including since-shuttered 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. Engin was detained in 2015 while he was following “the human shield protest” organized by civil society organizations and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Batman to stop the fight between PKK and the Turkish Armed Forces.