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.

Journalist Beritan Canözer given prison term

Journalist Beritan Canözer given prison term

The court has sentenced Canözer to separate imprisonment sentences of 1 year 10 months and 15 days, and 1 year and 3 monthson two counts of “terrorism propaganda” over her social media posts


The fourth hearing in the trial of JinNews reporter Beritan Canözer on charges of “successive terrorism propaganda” over her social media posts was held at the Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court on 17 November 2022.

While Canözer did not attend the hearing, her lawyer Resul Temur was present. The hearing monitored by P24 was also observed by many people, including Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) Diyarbakır representative Mahmut Oral and Mesopotamia Women Journalists Platform spokesperson Roza Metina.

Repeating their final opinion on the case presented at the third hearing on 13 October 2022, the prosecutor requested conviction of Canözer for the impugned crime.

Delivering a counterstatement against the opinion of the prosecution, lawyer Temur emphasized that his client had been detained by the police as part of another investigation in April 2021, that the police had investigated her social media accounts despite bearing no relevance to the investigation and this was a violation of due process. Temur requested the removal of evidence obtained without due process from the case file.

Temur also reminded the court that the social media posts featuring photos of the PYD-affiliated YPG and YPJ were mostly from 2014. Temur presented to the court a response to a letter they had written to the Ministry of Interior concerning another case at the time. He said, “In its response, the Ministry of Interior states that at that time the PYD was not engaged in illegal activities against Turkey.”

Stating that Canözer was on trial over four separate social media accounts, Temur said “My client accepts that two of these accounts belong to her. However, the remaining two accounts belong to someone else, who goes by the name ‘Beritan Sarya.’ My client was previously investigated for posts on the ‘Beritan Sarya’ account, which resulted in a decision not to prosecute.” Presenting to the court documents showing that new items had been posted on the “Beritan Sarya” account while Canözer was in detention, Temur requested the acquittal of his client.

Announcing its decision, the court sentenced Canözer to separate imprisonment sentences of 1 year 10 months and 15 days, and 1 year and 3 months on two counts of “terrorism propaganda.” The court did not defer the sentence.

Background of the case

Journalist Beritan Canözer was arrested during an unrelated operation (TJA) on 4 April 2021 and was later released. On 31 January 2022, an indictment was filed against Canözer over her social media posts in 2014-2015.

The indictment cites social media posts on four separate accounts as evidence of the charge pressed against Canözer.

Although Beritan Canözer has stated that two of these four social media accounts do not belong to her, posts on these two accounts were included in the case file.

However, on 12 October 2021, the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office had found that there was no “adequate” and “competent” evidence proving journalist Canözer was the owner of the Twitter account named “Beritan Sarya,” which was cited as evidence for the charges brought up against her, and had decided not to prosecute.