Journalism and free speech trials: Week of Oct 30 - Nov 2

28 October 2018

This week several journalists will appear before judges. Below is a list of this week’s journalism and free speech trials:

October 30, Tuesday

  • The second hearing of journalist and writer Mehmet Gündem will be held at İstanbul 35. High Criminal Court. Gündem, a former writer for Zaman, Tercüman, Yeni Şafak, and Milliyet newspapers, is accused of ‘membership in a terrorist organization’.

October 31, Wednesday

  • Hearing of Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar in which he is accused of ‘membership in a terrorist organization’ will be held at İstanbul 32. High Criminal Court.

November 1, Thursday

  • The first hearing of journalist Ece Sevim Öztürk in which she is accused of ‘terrorist propaganda’ and ‘aiding an organization without being a member’ will be held at İstanbul 37. High Criminal Court. Öztürk had made a documentary film titled ‘The darkest day of the Navy: July 15’ almost a month before the June 24 elections. She was taken into custody on June 8 and was arrested on June 20.
  • Hearing of Mehmet Baransu, Ahmet Altan, Yasemin Çongar, Yıldıray Oğur, and Tuncay Opçin, also known as ‘Conspiracy in Balyoz’ trial, will start at 10:30 AM at İstanbul 13. High Criminal Court. Journalists are accused of ‘establishing a criminal organization’ and ‘possessing secret state documents in relation to national security’ charges. The hearing will go on for two days.

November 2, Friday

  • Hearing of Democratic Modernity Magazine editor Haydar Ergül will be held at İstanbul 22. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi. Ergül is accused of ‘membership in a terrorist organization’ and he has been in pre-trial detention since July 28.
  • Third hearing of photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan will be held at İstanbul 33. High Criminal Court. Erdoğan was taken into custody in September 2017, on the grounds that he was photographing social facilities that belonged to the National Intelligence Agency and is accused of ‘membership in a terrorist organization’ and ‘terrorist propaganda’.