İstanbul – The trial where complainant Justice and Development Party (AKP) Bursa MP Efkan Ala accuses former aktifhaber.com Editor-in-Chief Yetkin Yıldız of “slander” and “defamation” took place today before the Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance. Detained in relation to another case, Yıldız attended the hearing via SEGBİS video conference system. Both Ala’s and Yıldız’s lawyers presented petitions to be excused from today’s hearing and did not attend.
The responses written to the letters sent to the news website www.diken.com.tr and Hürriyet newspaper to the deliberations of the previous hearing were read out loud. To the deliberation related to tweets shared by Fuat Avni, www.diken.com.tr responded, “The tweets shared by Fuat Avni concerning the attack having, according to the author, taken place in Suruç, has not been published.” As to Hürriyet, the newspaper stated the letter it was sent to did not contain any link so they did not have access to the content in question.
The presiding judge pointed out that the question whether the Court of Cassation has reached a judgement about Yıldız’s other trial that was heard before the Istanbul 25th High Criminal Court had not yet been answered by the authorities.
In his defense statement, journalist Yetkin Yıldız declared the following: “I have pointed this out previously. We had put in the case file the names of the media outlets having published the tweets previously mentioned. I had seen these news articles at the time. They might have removed those articles from their websites due to the change in the conjuncture. I reject the statements made by www.diken.com.tr and Hürriyet. I took these articles from the websites of Sözcü and Cumhuriyet. According to my research, I had also seen them on www.diken.com.tr. I want a copy of the official proceedings of the hearing to be sent to me.”
The Court accepted the lawyers’ requests to be excused from this hearing and adjourned the trial until December 17th.