Twelve acquitted, twelve sentenced in "We Can't Make Ends Meet" protest trial ANKARA

Twelve acquitted, twelve sentenced in "We Can't Make Ends Meet" protest trial ANKARA


(July 9, 2024) — In a trial involving 24 individuals detained during the "We Can't Make Ends Meet" protest in Ankara, including journalist Öznur Değer, the court acquitted 12 people and sentenced 12 others to prison.

The protest, organized by Ankara's Labor and Democracy Forces on November 28, 2021, aimed to highlight the rising cost of living. Those detained, along with JinNews reporter Öznur Değer, faced charges under the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations and for resisting law enforcement. This was the twelfth hearing in the case.

None of the defendants attended the hearing, but some defense attorneys were present. The prosecutor reiterated their previous stance, calling for the punishment of certain defendants while supporting Değer's acquittal.

Journalist presence defended

Değer's lawyer, Çiğdem Kozan, argued that Değer was at the scene as a journalist, not a protester, and should be acquitted of all charges, including resisting law enforcement. "Our client was there as a journalist. A verdict of acquittal should be given. Furthermore, since there is no act of resisting law enforcement, an acquittal should also be given on this charge," Kozan stated.

Challenges to the indictment

Defense attorney Nilüfer Irmak Özkan highlighted that those charged were detained without warning before the press statement was made. "We reject the prosecutor's opinion as it lacks legal scrutiny. An indictment prepared solely on the basis of a police report cannot be used for prosecution. Trials cannot proceed by violating universal legal principles. Given these factors, we request acquittals for our clients and all defendants due to the absence of any unlawful actions," she asserted.

Other defense attorneys also demanded acquittals, arguing that their clients were exercising constitutionally guaranteed rights when they were detained.

Court's decision

In the end, the court acquitted 12 individuals, including Değer. Five were sentenced to six months in prison for "resisting" under the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations, while seven others received five-month sentences for the same charge, with the pronouncement of their verdicts deferred.


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.