Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Ferhat Parlak

Ferhat Parlak

Ferhat Parlak, the publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Silvan Mücadele newspaper, was detained in a police raid on his home in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır on 11 April 2018.


Parlak and four others detained as part of the same operation were transferred to the courthouse on 13 April. Parlak was jailed pending trial on the charge of "membership of a terrorist organization" and sent to the Diyarbakir D Type Closed Prison.


Journalist's brother fined


Several months later, his brother, Serhat Parlak, who put up a poster demanding justice for his imprisoned brother, was fined under the Law on Misdemeanors. Serhat Parlak was taken into custody on 21 December 2018 while he was putting up the posters. He was released on the same day after he was imposed a fine.


Indictment prepared after 1 year of imprisonment


The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office issued an indictment against Parlak in April 2019, exactly one year after his arrest.


The indictment was based on testimony from witness B.C. and five secret witnesses. The indictment contained evidence on which Parlak had previously been tried and acquitted. In the indictment, secret witness, Takvim, claimed that Parlak participated in “organizational activities” by taking pictures during the clashes and claimed that he threw a molotov cocktail at an armored police vehicle.


The indictment was accepted by the Diyarbakir 11th High Criminal Court.


Release at first hearing


The first hearing in Parlak's trial was held on 8 July 2019. Parlak and his lawyer were present at the hearing. Parlak, who denied the accusation against him, explained that he was a journalist.


Parlak's lawyer, Mehdi Özdemir, said the secret witness statements were contradictory and that his client was being accused over his journalistic work.

Özdemir said his client was acquitted in a previous trial on the same charge by the Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court and pointed out that the current file was a duplicate.


The court ordered Parlak's release, taking into account the evidence collected and the time he spent in detention. The court banned Parlak from traveling abroad.


Case dismissed


The seventh hearing in the case was held on 7 December 2020 at the Diyarbakır 11th High Criminal Court.


Ruling that the evidence in the case file was the same evidence against the journalist in a 2017 case overseen by the Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court, where he was eventually acquitted, the panel dismissed the case. The court also lifted the international travel ban imposed on Parlak.