Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 10 - 14

9 June 2019
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This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

11 June Tuesday

  • Journalist Çiğdem Toker is sued for 50.000 Turkish Liras in reparations by the Organization of Post and Telegraph (PTT) for her article published in Cumhuriyet daily on 22 April 2018 titled “PTT’s privileged company.” The case will be heard at Ankara 20th Civil Court of First Instance. In their petition addressed to the court, PTT had claimed that Toker’s article is “denigrating and includes statements that destroy the credibility of the organization in the eye of the public.”

13 June Thursday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp face “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will take place at İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court.

  • Sixth hearing of the trial where photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will take place at İstanbul 33rd High Criminal Court. Erdoğan is represented by MLSA in court and the verdict is expected to be announced during this hearing.  

14 June Friday

  • Eighth hearing of the trial where Sözcü newspaper reporter Gökmen Ulu, Sözcü’s website’s former News Editor Mediha Olgun, Chief Financial Officer Yonca Yücekaleli are tried with “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member” charges and the newspaper’s owner Burak Akbay is tried with “leading an armed terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for an armed terrorist organization” charges will take place at İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court. Two separate Sözcü cases have recently been merged; hence, journalists Metin Yılmaz, Mustafa Çetin, Necati Doğru, Yücel Arı and Emin Çölaşan face the same allegations as part of this trial.