Journalism and free speech trials: Week of May 13 - 17

13 May 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:

14 May Tuesday

  • Second hearing of the trial where Evrensel daily’s Editor-in-Chief Fatih Polat faces “insulting the president” charges will resume at Bakırköy 31st Criminal Court of First Instance. Polat faces this accusation due to his Evrensel column from 28 May 2017 where he published parts of journalist Craig Shaw’s news report “President Erdoğan’s family in secret offshore ship deal” published on The Black Sea on 26 May 2017.

  • The trial where journalist and writer Ahmet Altan faces non-pecuniary damages for “insult” charges will resume at Ankara 1st Civil Court of First Instance.

15 May Wednesday

  • Trial where Cumhuriyet daily’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar faces “securing information that, due to its nature, must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security or domestic or foreign political interests of the state for the purposes of espionage” and “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” charges for publishing the news report on National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) 18-wheeler trucks carrying weapons across the border will resume at İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court.  

  • Tenth hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet daily’s former Ankara representative Erdem Gül and Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Enis Berberoğlu face “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member” charges will be held at İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court. Gül and Berberoğlu face this accusation  in relation to Cumhuriyet publishing the footage about National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) 18-wheeler trucks, exposing that they were carrying weapons across the border. A verdict is expected during this week’s hearing.

  • Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporter Seda Taşkın was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison by Muş 2nd High Criminal Court on 10 October 2018. Taşkın was sentenced to 4 years and 2 months for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization without being a member,” and 3 years and 4 months for “terrorist propaganda” charges. Taşkın was released from prison with a scheduling order from the Appellate Court. Journalist Seda Taşkın’s appeal hearing will be held at Erzurum Regional Court’s 6th Penal Chamber this Wednesday. She will attend this hearing via SEGBİS video-link from a court in Ankara.
  • The trial where Kurdistan 24 journalist Cesim İlhan faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges will resume at Bingöl 2nd High Criminal Court. İlhan, who MLSA represents, will attend the hearing via SEGBİS video-link from a court in Büyükçekmece, İstanbul.
  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist Mehmet Dursun faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges on the basis of his correspondence with news sources will resume at Van 4th High Criminal Court.

16 May Thursday

  • The trial where since shut-down Özgür Gündem daily’s Editors-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol and Zana Kaya, Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya and Kurdish politician Hatip Dicle face “publicly denigrating the government, the judiciary, and law enforcement officials” and “publicly denigrating the Turkish people, the republic, and the Grand National Assembly” charges for news stories published in the newspaper will resume at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of the First Instance.