Nazlı Ilıcak's 'espionage' case adjourned until January

9 October 2018

Ufuk Emre Bektaş, İstanbul - Hearing of Nazlı Ilıcak who is accused of 'espionage' due to her article that was published in Bugün newspaper on 2 January 2015, was held at İstanbul 26. High Criminal Court. Next hearing will be held on 22 January 2019.

The prosecutor had submitted his final opinion in the previous hearing and requested Ilıcak to be punished accordingly to Article 330/1 of the Turkish Penal Code. Ilıcak joined the hearing via the judicial conferencing system (SEGBİS) from Bakırköy Women's Prison and requested to be acquitted and the case to be dropped.

Ilıcak explained in her defense that according to the Press Law, a lawsuit could only be filed within the 4-month time period as it is stated in the law. She stated that she has been a journalist for 40 years and stood by whoever she thought was righteous. She mentioned that she had stood by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the past, and supported the Welfare Party against military dominance before then. Ilıcak's defense was interrupted when she said that she had been imprisoned during the 12 September coup. The presiding judge Recep Kurt Ilıcak warned her to speak only about the article she had written, explained that the panel of judges is only temporary in the case, therefore, would not make a final decision today and told her to “keep it short”.

'I should be linked with a state if I am a spy'

Ilıcak continued her defense statement after the short interruption and added: “I should be linked with a state if I am a spy. The case in which Can Dündar and Erdem Gül was being tried, also known as the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Trucks case, the Supreme Court agreed that the news story revealed secret state documents however it also stated that the prescriptive time period had passed.” Ilıcak also remarked that her article was in favor of Turkey's interest, not others.

Next hearing on 22 January

The panel of judges decided to wait for the documents that were requested from Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), ruled to keep Ilıcak in detention and adjourned the hearing until 22 January 2019. The court also ordered journalist Nazlı Ilıcak to join the next hearing via SEGBİS as well.