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.
Emre Orman was accused of “spreading terrorist group propaganda” over posts he allegedly shared on social media
CANSU PİŞKİN, ISTANBUL
Journalist Emre Orman appeared before the 34th High Criminal Court of Istanbul on 13 February 2020 for the first hearing of his trial for allegedly “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization” through posts he shared on social media.
P24 monitored the hearing. Orman and his lawyer Mükerrem Karakurt were in attendance.
In his defense statement, Orman denied the accusation, saying that the Twitter account in question did not belong to him. Orman’s lawyer Karakurt requested his client’s acquittal.
Presenting their final opinion, the prosecution requested Orman to be convicted of “systematically spreading terrorist group propaganda.”
Addressing the court in response to the final opinion, Karakurt reiterated that the Twitter account was not his client’s. Karakurt asked the court to acquit his client in view of the “in dubio pro reo” principle, which declares that the court may not convict a defendant when doubts about his/her guilt remain. Since the posts were not made by his client, Karakurt said that they cannot constitute the crime of spreading propaganda.
Asked for his last words concerning the final opinion, Orman said, “I am on trial over a Twitter account that is not mine. The same posts are also in my previous prosecution file. My account is the one which bears my name today. I request to be acquitted.”
Announcing its verdict at the end of the first hearing, the court sentenced Orman to 1 year, 6 months and 22 days in prison for “systematically disseminating terrorist propaganda.” The court deferred the sentence and lifted all the judicial control measures imposed on Orman.
Orman was arrested on account of his social media posts in Istanbul on 23 October 2019. He was jailed pending trial on the charge of “terrorism propaganda” by the judgeship he was referred to the next day and sent to the Maltepe Prison. Orman was released from prison on 31 October 2019, after his lawyers filed an objection to his pre-trial detention.