Journalism and free speech trials: Week of 16 July

15 July 2018
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Below is a list of hearings this week that are taking place this weke as part of trials where people are accused of various crimes for journalistic work or expressing their opinions:

July 16 Monday

•           Etkin Haber Ajansı (ETHA) editors İsminaz Temel and correspondent Havva Cuştan appear for the first time before the Istanbul 27. High Criminal Court. The two editors are accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” based on their reporting and social media posts.

•           The journalists who joined a solidarity campaign for the shuttered Özgür Gündem will appear before the 14. High Criminal Court at 13.30 in Istanbul on charges of “terrorist propaganda”. The defendants are: Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, İhsan Çaralan, Fehmi Işık, Öncü Akgül, Ömer Ağın, Celalettin Can, Hüseyin Aykol, Veysel Kemer, Dilşah Karakaya and Yüksel Oğuz.

July 17 Tuesday

•           Attorney Veysel Ok will appear before a judge -- and a verdict is expected -- for stating his ideas about the Turkish judiciary to a reporter from the shuttered Özgür Düşünce newspaper on December 25, 2015. He and reporter Cihan Acar are accused of “defaming the Turkish judiciary.” The trial takes place at 9.30 am at the 37 Criminal Court of First Instance.

•          Van journalist İdris Yılmaz, who is also an MLSA client, is on trial before the Van Ercis 1. Criminal Court of First Instance at 8.40 am. He is accused of “slander via the press” for a news report in which he reported on a village guard who hit a child for trying to enter an Erciş beach.

•           Former Energy Minister of Turkey Berat Albayrak, who is also the son-in-law of President Erdoğan, has sued the Cumhuriyet newspaper for reporting on “Paradise Papers” which included revelations on the financial affairs of Albayrak,  his brother Serhat Albayrak and businessman Ahmet Çalık. The defendants are Cumhuriyet journalists Pelin Ünker and Orhan Erinç and they are facing defamation charges. The case will be heard at 10.40 at Anadolu 24 Criminal Court of First Instance.

July 18 Wednesday

•           Can Dündar , Erdem Gül and Enis Berberoğlu trial with regards to news reports published in Cumhuriyet suggesting that Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) sent weapons and arms to jihadists in Syria will continue at the 14. High Criminal Court.

•           Shuttered Zaman newspaper writer Ali Ünal's will be on trial at Uşak 2. High Criminal Court on charges of “attempting to overhtrow the Constitutional order.”

July 19 Thursday

•           Onur Hamzaoğlu, who is on trial for “inciting the public to hatred” for a statement he made in his capacity as the co-speaker for the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) will be tried at 10 am at Ankara 29. High Criminal Court. The academic, who was expelled from Kocaeli University, remains imprisoned in the case.

•           Evrensel cartoonist Sefer Selvi and the newspaper’s Responsible Managing Editor Çağrı Sarı face a trial over a cartoon concerning former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s comments on Paradise Papers. The litigators seek TL 40,000 in compensation. The first hearing will be heard at the Anadolu 19. Criminal Court. The journalists are unlikely to attend in person.


•            Cumhuriyet journalist Canan Coşkun will be on trial at 10.30 at Istanbul 26. High Criminal Court on charges of “making public servants who have taken on counterterrorism duties” for revealing the name of a prosecutor in a story about a terror investigation.