Case Monitoring

The trial of journalist Zübeyde Sarı is adjourned until September

EYLEM SONBAHAR*

The trial in which journalist Sarı faces “publicly inciting the public to hatred and hostility” charge because of her social media posts is adjourned until September 29th for the prosecutor to prepare his final opinion as to the accusations. 

The second hearing of the trial in which journalist Zübeyde Sarı whom MLSA represents in court, face “publicly inciting the public to hatred and hostility” charge was held in the Bakırköy 24th Criminal Court of First Instance.Sarı attended the hearing together with the lawyers of MLSA’s Legal Team. 11 social media posts which were gathered through a method called “virtual patrol” which the Constitutional Court found to be unlawful are cited as evidence for the charge leveled against journalist Sarı. The posts cited as evidence include posts which contain phrases like “the Dersim Genocide” and “Kobani.”

Sarı started her defense by saying that she is denying the accusations and said “All the social media posts in question are within my activities as a journalist. I have been a journalist for 15 years. The posts cited in the indictment are actually links to news articles. I have no intention of provoking the public to hatred and hostility. I shared those posts only with the intent to inform the public.”

The judge then proceeded to ask Sarı, “Do you have a press card registered to your name, where do you work, where were you working in 2017?” Sarı replied by saying “I was working at a news platform called Özgürüz and now I am working at Artı TV. I do have a press card.”

Sarı also stated that she does not accept the announcement of the verdict to be deferred. Taking the floor after Sarı, her lawyer stated: “I agree with my client’s statements. She is a journalist who actively uses social media. She had shared some posts to inform the public. We will give our detailed defense after hearing the prosecutor’s final opinion.”

Giving additional time for the prosecutor to prepare his final opinion, the court adjourned the trial until September 29th.

*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).