Several journalism and free speech trials were held last week. Below is a list of the hearings monitored by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) last week:
Prosecutor demands journalist Cansu Pişkin to be punished
2nd hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily reporter Cansu Pişkin is accused of “disclosing or publishing the identity of a public official on anti-terrorist duty and identifying such persons as a target,” was held at Istanbul 36th High Criminal Court. Pişkin faces these accusations for a news story published in Evrensel on 5 April 2018, titled “Special prosecutor for Boğaziçi students.” The Prosecutor presented their opinion as to the accusations and requested Pişkin to be sentenced for the imputed offense. The trial is adjourned until 7 May.
Journalist Çağdaş Erdoğan’s trial is adjourned until 7 May
Fourth hearing of the trial where reporter and photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charges was held at İstanbul 33rd High Criminal Court. The court gave the defense additional time to examine the expert report that has been received and prepare a statement in response to the report and adjourned the trial until 7 May.
Journalist İshak Karakaş is sentenced for criticizing military operation in Afrin
Fifth and final hearing of the trial where 10 people including journalist İshak Karakaş face “making terrorist propaganda charges” for criticizing Turkish military’s operations in Afrin on their social media accounts was held at İstanbul 28th High Criminal Court. Eight people, including journalist İshak Karakaş, were sentenced to 1 year 6 months and 22 days in prison for successively “making terrorist propaganda.” The sentences are deferred.
Former Evrensel Dersim correspondent Kemal Özer sentenced to prison
Evrensel daily’s former Dersim correspondent Kemal Özer was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison in the trial where he was charged with “membership in a terrorist organization.” Özer was arrested on 4 September 2017 and released during the hearing which took place on 21 January 2019. His lawyers stated that they would appeal the decision.
Journalists Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp are not released
Fourth hearing of the trial where Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda charges” was held at İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court. Şahin and Pınar have been detained since 19 April 2018. The court ruled to continue their detention and adjourned the trial until 13 June.
Court seeks Ministry’s permission to try journalist Hayri Demir with Article 301
Fourth hearing of the trial where 11 defendants including Artı TV Ankara correspondent Sibel Hürtaş and journalist Hayri Demir face “provoking the public to hatred and animosity” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges took place at Ankara 15th High Criminal Court today. The prosecutor requested to seek the Ministry of Justice’s permission in order to continue the prosecution pursuant to Article 301. The court accepted this request and put prosecution on hold. The court also ruled to go through with the proceedings in relation to other offenses specified in the indictment. The trial is adjourned until 3 July.
Trial of Özgür Gündem writers adjourned until 8 May
Twelfth hearing of the trial where Co-Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor and 20 writers of the since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily face “making terrorist propaganda,” “praising an offense or an offender,” and “provoking commitment of a crime” charges was held at the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court. The court decided to ask for the 23rd High Criminal Court’s opinion regarding the request for merging the files and ruled to wait for the execution of arrest warrants. The next hearing will take place on 8 May.
Prosecutor will present final opinion in Şirin Kabakçı’s next hearing
Fifth hearing of the trial where since shut-down Zaman daily’s Konya correspondent Şirin Kabakçı faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges was held at the Istanbul 35th High Criminal Court. The court ruled to send the file over to the prosecutor for the final opinion to be prepared. The trial is adjourned until 2 July.
Trial of Özgür Gündem Editors-in-Chief on Watch adjourned until 3 April
Next hearing of the trial where 13 journalists ( Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celalettin Can, İhsan Çaralan, Celal Başlangıç, Fehim Işık, Dilşah Kocakaya, Öncü Akgül, Hüseyin Aykol, Ömer Ağın, Veysel Kemer, Mehmet Şirin Taşdemir, Yüksel Oğuz) who participated in Özgür Gündem daily’s Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign will be held on 3 April.
Defense requests extra time in Özgür Gündem trial on “denigrating the Turkish nation”
Twelfth hearing of the trial where since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily’s Editors-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol and Zana Kaya, Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya, and Kurdish politician Hatip Dicle face “publicly denigrating the government, the judiciary, and law enforcement officials” and “publicly denigrating the Turkish people, the republic, and the Grand National Assembly” charges for news stories published in the newspaper resumed at the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of the First Instance. The defense requested extra time to prepare statements. Accepting the request for additional time, the court adjourned the trial until 16 May.
Court dismisses Pelin Ünker’s case about Paradise Papers reporting
In the trial where journalist Pelin Ünker faces “defamation and slander through press” charges for her reporting on Paradise Papers, the court ruled to dismiss the case due to the statute of limitations specified in the Turkish Press Law.
Journalist Gökhan Öner’s trial adjourned until 15 April
Second hearing of the trial where since shut-down Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Gökhan Öner faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges was held at the Denizli 2nd High Criminal Court. The prosecutor requested extra time to prepare the final opinion as to the accusations. The court agreed to give the prosecutor extra time and adjourned the trial until 15 April.