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.

İnan Kızılkaya

İnan Kızılkaya

İnan Kızılkaya is the former responsible managing editor of the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily, one of the media outlets closed down as part of a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the 15 July 2016 coup attempt.

Kızılkaya was arrested in a police raid on the newspaper on 16 August 2016 along with some 20 journalists. On 22 August, he and Özgür Gündem Co-Editor-in-Chief Zana (Bilir) Kaya were jailed pending trial on the charge of "membership in a terrorist organization."

Kızılkaya was charged with various "terrorism" offenses in over 100 cases in connection with Özgür Gündem, most of which were later merged. He faced an aggravated life imprisonment sentence on the charge of "disrupting the unity of the state."

On 31 October 2017, after spending 441 days in pre-trial detention, Kızılkaya was released by the Istanbul 23rd High Criminal Court, which oversees the "Özgür Gündem main trial." Kızılkaya and eight other defendants, including the former members of the newspaper's editorial advisory board, are charged with "disrupting the integrity of the state and the unity of the nation," "membership of a terrorist group" and "terrorism propaganda" in the indictment.

At the final hearing, held on 15 February 2021, Kızılkaya was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on the charge of "membership in a terrorist organization.”

The hearing marked the fourth since the file against Kızılkaya, former Co-Editor-in-Chief Zana Kaya, publisher Kemal Sancılı and lawyer Eren Keskin was separated from the main trial in February 2020.