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Photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan’s trial adjourned until September


İstanbul – Sixth hearing of the trial where photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan faces “making terrorist propaganda” and “membership in a terrorist organization” charges was held at İstanbul 33rd High Criminal Court today. Erdoğan is represented by Media and Law Studies Association’s (MLSA) Legal Unit.

Çağdaş Erdoğan did not attend the hearing but his lawyers Veysel Ok and Zelal Pelin Doğan were present in the courtroom.

Erdoğan dismissed his previous lawyers between hearings and the MLSA Legal Unit took the case over very recently. Because of this, MLSA lawyers requested extra time to prepare an effective defense in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion as to the accusations.

The court accepted this request and adjourned the trial until 5 September 2019.

Case background

Çağdaş Erdoğan was taken into custody with the claim that he took a photo of a social facility in Kadıköy, İstanbul, which was allegedly used by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). Erdoğan had denied the existence of such a building, saying that it must be an invisible one. Erdoğan was arrested on 2 September 2017 and released following the first hearing of the trial, on 13 February 2018.

The prosecutor had presented the final opinion as to the accusations during the hearing that took place on 7 May 2019 and demanded Erdoğan to be acquitted for “membership in a terrorist organization.” However, the prosectuor demanded his punishment for terrorist propaganda per Anti-Terror Law Article 7(2), arguing that he “praised PKK/KCK/PYD” in his social media posts. The prosecutor added that the time period he spent in prison should be taken into consideration and subtracted from his sentence.