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.
T24’s editor-in-chief acquitted of “knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization” over coverage on Fuat Avni tweets
The third and final hearing in the trial of Doğan Akın, a founding member of P24 and the editor-in-chief of the news portal T24, on the charge of “knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization without being its member” took place on 2 July 2020 at the 25th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
Akın, who was facing up to 15 years in prison over news coverage of posts shared by an anonymous Twitter account that went by the name “Fuat Avni,” was in attendance in the courtroom with his lawyers.
In addition to P24, the hearing was monitored by T24 columnist Murat Sabuncu and RSF Turkey Representative Erol Önderoğlu. Due to Covid-19 containment measures, a limited number of spectators were allowed into the courtroom.
Reiterating the final opinion presented in between hearings, the prosecutor said that coverage of the tweets of “Fuat Avni” did not constitute a crime and requested Akın to be acquitted. Believed by some to be an insider in the administration of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cabinet, Fuat Avni posted leaks and commentary about the Justice and Development Party (AKP) from 2014 to 2016.
Delivering his defense statement, Akın requested his acquittal saying that he agreed with the final opinion and that he was just trying to do his job.
Akın’s lawyers, who told the court that the prosecution had presented a final opinion which expanded the space for freedom of the press, also requested their client to be acquitted. Finding that the elements of the alleged crime had not formed, the court ruled for Akın’s acquittal.