Trial Monitoring

Weekly press freedom roundup: Highlights from Feb 19 - 23

Weekly press freedom roundup: Highlights from Feb 19 - 23

Information on this past week's developments  (19 Feb Monday to 22 .February Friday) in Turkey regarding freedom of the press :

Judicial Reform Package adopted by Justice Commission:

The package, which reintroduces the crime of "committing offenses on behalf of an organization" previously annulled by the Constitutional Court, and requires approaching a compensation commission before the Constitutional Court in cases of lengthy trials, passed the Parliamentary Justice Commission.

Ruling on murder of family by Turkish armed forces 

A court has found that the Vartinis Massacre, in which nine people including a baby were burned alive, does not  classify as a crime against humanity. The case was dropped due to the statute of limitations.

Editor Furkan Karabay summoned to testify in two investigations.

The editor of Gerçek Gündem, Furkan Karabay, was called for a statement in two separate investigations.

Throughout the week, various trials related to press and freedom of expression were observed in Istanbul, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Elbistan, Elazığ, Urfa, and Silvan by the MLSA's Case Monitoring Unit, covering a total of 25 cases.

• Journalist Neşe İdil Sentenced: İdil received a prison sentence of 1 year and 3 months.
• Case Against Journalist Canan Çoşkun Dropped: Çoşkun was acquitted in her trial.
• No Prosecution for Journalist Yıldız Tar: An investigation against Tar resulted in non•prosecution.
• Deniz Yücel's Verdict Upheld: Yücel's sentence was confirmed upon appeal.
• Restart of Gezi Park Trial: Following the Court of Cassation's decision, the trial restarted for Mücella Yapıcı, Ali Hakan Altınay, and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi.
• Attorney Feyza Altun Detained: Altun was detained over social media posts.
• Journalist Furkan Karabay Summoned: Karabay was called for questioning related to "insulting the president" and "insult" allegations.

MLSA Legal Unit submitted a notification regarding four groups of cases to be reviewed by the Council of Europe's Ministers' Council. The notification highlighted systematic violations of freedom of expression in Turkey, noting that crimes defined in Turkish penal laws disproportionately and unpredictably restrict freedom of expression.

The MLSA Legal Unit released a briefing note on the Judicial Reform Package, known as the "8th Judicial Package," which recently passed the Parliamentary Justice Commission.

Highlights of the week: Pressure on journalists 

• February 19, Monday: MLSA objected to the seizure of materials from journalists detained in İzmir.
• February 20, Tuesday: Journalist Neşe İdil sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison for social media posts about Kobanî. Non•prosecution decision in the investigation against Yıldız Tar for "targeting individuals who served in anti•terrorism."
• February 21, Wednesday: International institutions called to act in the case of journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu. Prosecutor sought penalty and acquittal for journalist Hayko Bağdat in a trial for insulting the president and a public official.
• February 22, Thursday: Figen Yüksekdağ and 7 other HDP members' trial postponed without a hearing. Journalist Pelin Özkaptan's 'propaganda' trial begins.
• February 23, Friday: MLSA Legal Unit released a briefing note on the new judicial package. The Constitutional Court published the reasoning behind the "censorship law" decision.

These events reflect ongoing challenges and critical issues surrounding press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey.


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.