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.
Yeni Yaşam daily’s Responsible Managing Editor Keser was charged with “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist group”
CANSU PİŞKİN, ISTANBUL
Aydın Keser, the responsible managing editor of Yeni Yaşam newspaper, was acquitted at the first hearing of his trial on the charge of “disseminating terrorism propaganda” on 7 February 2020.
P24 monitored the hearing, overseen by the 22nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul. Keser and his lawyer Özcan Kılıç were in attendance in the courtroom.
Keser was accused over a report titled “Bu Pınardan Barış Akmaz” (Peace won’t flow from this spring), published on 10 October 2019.
Submitting to the court a copy of his defense statement in writing, Keser rejected the accusation. He said that the news report was an analysis of the operation conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in Syria. Keser requested his acquittal.
Addressing the court after Keser, his lawyer Kılıç pointed out that no organization was mentioned in the news report. Kılıç said that the news report consisted of comments given by representatives of various non-governmental organizations and political parties as well as columnists and citizens. Kılıç said that the objective and subjective elements of the crime were not present and asked the court to acquit his client.
Submitting their final opinion, the prosecutor said the elements of the “propaganda” offense were not found in the report. Saying that the coverage did not contain any characteristics legitimizing or praising the methods of a terrorist organization or encouraging acts of violence, the prosecutor asked the court to acquit Keser.
Announcing their verdict at the end of the hearing, the court ruled unanimously to acquit Keser on the grounds that the attributed act was not a crime defined by law.