Participants in Özgür Gündem's solidarity campaign hit judicial roadblock

10 October 2018
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Barış Kop, İstanbul – Twelve journalists and writers appeared in court for the ninth time today on charges of distributing terrorist propaganda after they participated in a solidarity campaign launched by now-defunct pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem.

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 were all named in the charges presented to Osmaniye 2. High Criminal Court by Prosecutor Ercan Gümü.

Kemer requested that he be permitted to deliver his defense in Kurdish, a request which the court swiftly refused. The court ignored Mavioğlu request for an extension of the initial inquiry. Eren then sought extra time to prepare his defense.

Özcan Kılıç, a lawyer for the defense, then took the floor and drew attention to various defects in the prosecution’s final opinion, noting that the prosecution had accused Can of crimes which they actually thought had been committed by Işık and that Ağın had been severely misquoted.

Prosecutor Ercan Gümüş rose to repeat his past concession that he would revise his final opinion upon receiving Kemer’s statement of defense. The panel of judges took a five minute recess to confer, and then ruled that Kemer’s statement would be taken through a translator, refused Mavioğlu's request for an extension of the inquiry and granted Eren extra time. The hearing was adjourned until March 28 2019.

 

Updated: November 30 2018