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 Deniz Yücel’s trial adjourned 

Journalist Deniz Yücel’s trial adjourned 

Ruling to re-examine Yücel’s file in light of his lawyer’s defense statement, the court adjourned the trial until 16 July 

The seventh hearing in the trial of Deniz Yücel, Die Welt’s former Turkey correspondent, on the charges of “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” and “inciting hatred and animosity” took place on 24 June 2020 at the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul.

P24 monitored the hearing, where Yücel’s lawyer Veysel Ok was in attendance in the courtroom. Yücel, who resides abroad, was not present. 

At the previous hearing, lawyer Ok had requested time to prepare a defense statement against the final opinion that had reached them a day before the hearing. Accepting Ok’s request, the court had adjourned the trial until 2 April. Due to Covid-19 measures, the trial was postponed to 24 June. 

The prosecutor reiterated the final opinion he had presented in the previous hearing, requesting the court to sentence Yücel as charged.

Addressing the court to deliver his defense statement against the final opinion, Ok said the translations of excerpts from Yücel’s articles were incorrect and that statements had been plucked out of context instead of being evaluated in their entirety.

Reminding that the Constitutional Court (AYM) judgment concerning his client was binding, Ok said the final opinion was drawn up without conducting an additional investigation and without taking into account AYM’s judgment. 

Ok also pointed out the contradiction in Yücel being accused of disseminating propaganda for two dissimilar organizations like PKK and FETÖ. Additionally, he stressed that a provision that reads, “Expressions of thought that do not exceed the boundaries of reporting and those made for the purpose of criticism shall not involve criminal liability,” was added to Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terrorism Law (TMK) as part of the judicial reform introduced in October 2019. Lawyer Ok said that the request to punish his client was not only unlawful but also at odds with logic and he requested his client’s acquittal. 

In its interim ruling, the court decided to re-examine Yücel’s case file and adjourned the trial until 16 July.