İstanbul - Fifth hearing of the trial where photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda charges” was held at İstanbul 33rd High Criminal Court today. The prosecutor presented his final opinion as to the accusations today.
Although the hearing was scheduled to start at 1 PM, it commenced at 2:30 PM due to delays in previous hearings. Representatives from Reporters without Borders (RSF), Article 19, International Press Institute (IPI), Turkey Journalists’ Syndicate (TGS), and DİSK Basın-İş (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey - Syndicate of Press Workers) monitored the hearing as well.
The prosecutor presented his final opinion as to the accusations today, demanded photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan to be acquitted for “membership in a terrorist organization.” However, the prosectuor demanded his punishment for terrorist propaganda per Anti-Terror Law Article 7(2), arguing that he “praised PKK/KCK/PYD” in his social media posts. The prosecutor added that the time period he spent in prison should be taken into consideration and subtracted from his sentence.
Erdoğan’s lawyer Figen Çalıkuşu demanded extra time to prepare her final defense statement. Court accepted this request and adjourned the trial until 13 June.
Çağdaş Erdoğan was taken into custody with the claim that he took a photo of a social facility in Kadıköy, İstanbul, which was allegedly used by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). Erdoğan had denied the existence of such a building, saying that it must be an invisible one. Erdoğan was arrested on 2 September 2017 and released following the first hearing of the trial, on 13 February 2018.