Nazlı Ilıcak's 'espionage' case adjourned until January

9 October 2018

Ufuk Emre Bektaş, İstanbul – Veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak has been accused of espionage over an article published by Bugün newspaper in early 2015. The prosecution asked that İstanbul 26. High Criminal Court sentence Ilıcak under Article 330/1 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Appearing in court from Bakırköy Women's Prison via judicial teleconferencing system SEGBİS, Ilıcak requested that the court acquit her. She explained that according to the Press Law charges of are only valid if filed within four months of the alleged offence, which renders the charges against her invalid.

Ilıcak noted that she has worked as a journalist for 40 years, during which time she has sympathised with various groups – including the Justice and Development Party and the Welfare Party, including when the latter had been suppressed by the military – and that she was imprisoned during the September 12 coup. This was interrupted by presiding judge Recep Kurt Ilıcak, who reminded her to speak only about the specific article being discussed in this case, explaining that the current panel of judges are only temporary and will not make a final decision. In essence, he said, “keep it short”.

After the interruption Ilıcak continued her defense by arguing that “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.” She also noted that her article in fact supported Turkish interests.

The panel of judges decided to keep Ilıcak in detention and adjourn the hearing until January 22 2019, by which time they expect to have received relevant documents from the Radio and Television Supreme Council. The court also ordered Ilıcak to join the next hearing via SEGBİS.


Updated: November 30 2018