Free speech and journalism trials: Week of May 28

29 May 2018

The hearings where journalists will be tried this week for reporting the news are as follows:

May 28 Monday

  • Artı Gerçek writer and editor-in-chief of the local newspaper Halkın Nabzı, İshak Karakas will be tried for conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization for criticizing Turkey's operations into Syria’s Afrin district. Karakaş was arrested for the same accusation on January 24 and was released on 8 May.

May 29 Tuesday

  • Documentary film directors Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and Çayan Demirel will be on trial for filming the Bakur documentary, which focuses on the PKK's withdrawal process in 2015 when peace talks between Turkey and the PKK were taking place. The trial will be heard by the 2. High Criminal Court in Batman. The directors are accused of "terrorist propaganda".

Wednesday, May 30

  • Evrensel Newspaper writer Yusuf Karataş will appear before the Diyarbakır 9. High Criminal Court. He was detained in July 2017 as part of an investigation into the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) on charges of “establishing and running an armed terrorist organization”. He was released from prison on 22 September 2017.  
  • Three journalists from the Sözcü newspaper and the owner of the newspaper be tried by the Istanbul 37. High Criminal Court on charges of “committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization while not being its member.” Sözcü correspondent Gökmen Ulu, former editor Mediha Olgun and accounting manager Yonca Yücekaleli were kept in prison earlier in the case for several months.

May 31 Thursday

  • Journalist Çağdaş Kaplan will be tried by the Sakarya 2. High Criminal Court on charges of membership of a terrorist organization. Kaplan, formerly a  correspondent of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), was arrested in 2010 due to his news reports on police investigations into university students in Sakarya.

Friday, June 1

  • The second hearing of the case against photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan, who has worked for many international agencies and press organizations around the world, will be held at the 33. High Criminal Court in Istanbul at the Çağlayan courthouse. Erdoğan was detained in Istanbul earlier on the grounds that he took photographs of a building which belonged to the Turkish National Agency (MİT). He was arrested on 13 September and sent to Silivri Prison. Erdogan's 37-page indictment only includes his photography as evidence. After six months in prison, Erdogan was released in February under judicial control measures. The journalist has also claimed that he had been subjected to sexual harassment by four police officers at the Kadıköy Rıhtim Police Station, where he was initially taken into custody.