Journalist Hayko Bağdat Acquitted of Two Charges, Sentenced for "Insulting the President"

Journalist Hayko Bağdat Acquitted of Two Charges, Sentenced for "Insulting the President"

Trial Monitoring – July 10, 2024 Eylem Sonbahar

Journalist Hayko Bağdat, defended by MLSA, was acquitted of "insulting a public official" and "inciting the public to hatred and hostility." However, the court sentenced him to 1 year, 2 months, and 17 days in prison for "insulting the president" based on two social media posts. The sentence was suspended.

The 12th hearing of Bağdat's trial, held at Istanbul 50th Criminal Court of First Instance, addressed charges stemming from his 2017 article on and various social media posts. Despite his absence, his defense was led by MLSA.

The prosecutor reiterated a February 21, 2024, indictment, accusing Bağdat of insulting President Erdoğan and public officials through his writings and posts from 2014, 2018, and 2019. The prosecutor sought a conviction for these offenses but recommended acquittal for "inciting hatred and hostility."

President Erdoğan's lawyer, Erem Gençer, supported the indictment, requesting Bağdat's punishment. Bağdat’s lawyer argued that the prosecutor’s accusations included posts not present in the original indictment and noted procedural errors due to incomplete defense for newly merged charges.

Ultimately, the court found Bağdat guilty of "insulting the president" for two posts made in 2019 but acquitted him of other charges, including those for the 2017 article and other social media posts.


Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.