The second hearing of the SLAPP suit brought by the Demirören Media Group against Medya Koridoru’s proprietor and editor-in-chief Canan Kaya whom MLSA represents in court, was held in the İstanbul 39th Civil Court of First Instance.
The SLAPP case brought against journalist Canan Kaya whom MLSA represents in court, resumed today in the İstanbul 39th Civil Court of First Instance. In the case, citing Kaya’s news article titled “Demirören yolun sonuna yaklaşıyor: Ziraat Bankası ‘kayyumları’ ne istedi? [End of the road for Demirören: What did Ziraat Bank ‘trustees’ want?]” published on the website of Medya Koridoru, on November 26, 2021 , the Demirören Media Group asks for a compensation of 20,000 TL for “damage of commercial reputation and violation of personal rights.” The judge opened today’s hearing by reading the decision of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors for the transfer of some of the case files of the İstanbul 18th Civil Court of First Instance to the İstanbul 39th Civil Court of First Instance.
The judge also recorded in the minutes that the Press Council General Secretariat’s reprimand decision dated 29 December 2021 has also been submitted to the court as well as the social security records of the parties to the case. The Demirören Media Group’s lawyer Serkan Yalavaç took the floor and stated that “The statements of the libellee both on the website and on the YouTube channel are misleading. Statements like ‘Milliyet daily has been shut down’ do not reflect the reality. These kinds of news reports have a negative effect both on our employees and our readers. We have appealed against the non prosecution decision of the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. It has not been finalized yet. We ask the court to wait for its finalization and also to accept our case.”
Taking the floor, Kaya’s lawyers Erselan Aktan and Emine Özhasar argued that “The prosecutor’s office has decided not to prosecute our client. We have also submitted the Aykut Küçükkaya judgment of the Constitutional Court to the case file. The elements required for non pecuniary damages are not present as the plaintiff had the right of reply. Therefore we request the court to reject the case.”
The judge decided to ask the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office if the decision of non-prosecution for the criminal complaint filed against Kaya is finalized. The trial is adjourned until 9 February 2023.
Citing Kaya’s news article titled “Demirören yolun sonuna yaklaşıyor: Ziraat Bankası ‘kayyumları’ ne istedi? [End of the road for Demirören: What did Ziraat Bank ‘trustees’ want?]” published on Medya Koridoru, on November 26, 2021, the lawyers of Demirören Media Group claim that Kaya damaged “the commercial reputation” and violated “the personal rights”’ of “a respectable company which serves the public interest.” Including the details of the Group’s investment in the media sector in their petition, the lawyers claim that Kaya’s news report was “purposefully ill-intentioned.” Arguing that the news report reached wide audiences, the lawyers ask for a compensation of 20,000 Turkish Liras for non pecuniary damages but also requests that the news report be removed and the verdict of the court be published in two of the most read newspapers in Turkey as well as on Medya Koridoru.
The lawyers of the Demirören Media Group had also filed a criminal complaint against Canan Kaya for “unfair competition.” After its investigation, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ruled not to prosecute Kaya on the grounds that the news report in question is “not against the principle of honesty” and the elements of the offense of “unfair competition were not established.”
On June 7, 2022, at the first hearing of the trial, the court decided to issue a writ to relevant parties so that the listed evidence can be collected; to ask about the writ issued to the Security General Directorate for the investigation of journalist Kaya’s socioeconomic conditions and to ask the Press Council General Secretariat to send a copy of the reprimand decision.
*This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. The work may be used and redistributed for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution to the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA).