Hearing of participants of Özgür Gündem solidarity campaign was adjourned until March

10 October 2018

Barış Kop, İstanbul - Ninth hearing of 12 journalists and writers, who are accused of 'terrorist propaganda' due to their participation in the solidarity campaign launched by Özgür Gündem newspaper was held at İstanbul 14. High Criminal Court.

Defendants Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celalettin Can, İhsan Çaralan, Celal Başlangıç, Fehim Işık, Dilşah Karakata, Öncü Akgül, Hüseyin Aykol, Ömer Ağın, Veysel Kemer and Yüksel Oğuz had participated in the solidarity campaign launched by the now-shuttered pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper.

Defendant Veysel Kemer had requested to submit his defense in Kurdish, which was rejected by Osmaniye 2. High Criminal Court. Prosecutor Ercan Gümüş repeated his final opinion which he had submitted on 7 May 2018 and said that he will review his final opinion after the submission of Kemer's statement. Journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu stated that he had requested an extension of inquiry, which was ignored by the court. He repeated his request whereas journalist Faruk Eren requested extra time to prepare his defense. Lawyer Özcan Kılıç drew attention to the defects within the final opinion of the prosecutor and stated that the offenses that Celalettin Can was charged with, were directed at Fehim Işık and that defendant Ömer Ağın's quotation from Bertolt Brecht was linked with 'terror'. 

The panel of judges took a 5-minute break to make an interim decision. The court ruled to take the defense statement of Veysel Kemer through a translator, rejected Mavioğlu's request to extend the inquiry and granted extra time for Eren to prepare his statement. The hearing was adjourned until 28 March.