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Journalist Fatih Polat’s trial adjourned until September

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İstanbul – Second hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily Editor-in-Chief Fatih Polat faces “insulting the president” charges because of a column he wrote in 2017 was held today. The court decided to seek the opinion of Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) and Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC) regarding the journalist and the web site Polat used as his news source in the concerned article and adjourned the trial until 17 September.

Journalist Fatih Polat stands trial for “insulting the president” charges because of a column published in Evrensel on 28 May 2017 titled “Do the respondents have anything to say about these allegations regarding the Erdoğan family?” Second hearing of the trial was held at Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance today. Fatih Polat and his lawyers attended the hearing. TGS Chair Gökhan Durmuş, Reporters without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu and several journalists monitored the hearing in solidarity with Polat.

Lawyer Devrim Avcı presented information about the web site The Black Sea, which Polat used as a news source for his column, adding that the article Polat refers to is still accessible in Turkey as of today. Avcı also presented an additional expert’s report provided by British human rights organization Article 19, which discloses that Craig Shaw, writer of the article Polat refers to, has been awarded a journalism award in England and was nominated for the European Press Prize’s “Investigative Reporting Award” category with this article in 2018. The court decided to seek the opinion of Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) and Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC) regarding the web site and the journalist Polat used as his news source to confirm their legitimacy. The trial is adjourned until 17 September.