Last Week

Last week in free speech: Week of May 13 – 17


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:

Journalist Fatih Polat’s trial adjourned until September

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 at Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance. 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.

Appellate Court reverses judgement regarding journalist Seda Taşkın

Erzurum Regional Court’s 6th Penal Chamber reversed the local court’s judgement regarding Mesopotamia Agency (MA) journalist Seda Taşkın, who was sentenced to 7 and a half years in prison last fall. The appellate court sentenced Taşkın to 1 year 11 months and 11 days in prison for “terrorist propaganda,” deferred the sentence. The court acquitted Taşkın for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” charges.

Trial where Özgür Gündem executives and writers are charged with Article 301 adjourned until October

Thirteenth hearing of the trial where since shuttered Özgür Gündem daily’s former Editors-in-Chief Zana (Bilir) Kaya and Hüseyin Aykol, Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya, and columnist Hatip Dicle are charged with Turkish Penal Code’s notorious Article 301 (denigrating the Turkish nation) because of news reports and columns published in the paper, was held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of the First Instance. The judge decided to wait for the execution of the arrest warrant issued for defendant Hatip Dicle and adjourned the trial until 10 October.