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.
Tutel, an editor for BirGün daily, is charged with “insulting a public official” for reporting on allegations of corruption in the Turkish Wushu Federation
CANSU PİŞKİN, ISTANBUL
The first hearing of the trial against BirGün newspaper sports editor Eren Tutel on the charge of “insulting a public official” under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) was held at the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance on 30 September 2021. Tutel is on trial for his reports about the Turkish Wushu Federation (TWF).
Tutel and his lawyer Sevgi Kalan and the lawyer representing the complainants Elif Akyüz and Abdurrahman Akyüz were in attendance. P24 was in the courthouse to monitor the hearing but citing the Covid-19 pandemic, the judge did not allow spectators in the courtroom.
Making his defense statement at the hearing, Tutel denied the accusation against him. Tutel said that the complainant Elif Akyüz, who is a TWF athlete, claimed to have won the world championship seven times but that according to the website of the International Wushu Federation she only won one championship.
Tutel added: “Doğan News Agency (DHA) reported that the complainant's father, TWF Deputy Chairman Abdurrahman Akyüz, allegedly bribed the referees and gave them Rolex watches so that his daughter would become the champion. I only referred to this report in my article. I did not insult the complainant. Other news websites ran the DHA story at that time and I previously stood trial for this and was acquitted by the Ankara 10th Criminal Court of First Instance. I wrote an article on claims that Abdurrahman Akyüz requested TL 6,000 to take Wushu Federation athletes to international events. This claim has also appeared in other media outlets. I made the reports in question for the purpose of informing the public. I did not act with the intention of insulting the complainants.”
The lawyer representing Abdurrahman Akyüz and Elif Akyüz requested to join the lawsuit. Tutel’s lawyer Kalan requested time to prepare a defense statement. The court accepted the complainants’ requests to join the case and adjourned the trial until 1 February 2022.