JinNews editor Nişmiye Güler was charged with "terrorism propaganda” over her social media posts
CANSU PİŞKİN, İSTANBUL
The first hearing in the trial of JinNews editor Nişmiye Güler on charges of “terrorism propaganda” over her social media posts was held at the İstanbul 27th High Criminal Court on 19 January 2023.
Güler and her lawyers attended the hearing, which P24 monitored.
Güler’s lawyer Sercan Korkmaz stated that her client was a journalist and all five social media posts in question consisted of news items. “No investigation has been launched into JinNews about these five news items that brought this trial upon my client,” said Korkmaz, demanding Güler’s acquittal.
After the defense statements were made, the prosecutor presented their final opinion on the case and demanded conviction for Güler of the impugned crime.
Speaking against the opinion, Korkmaz said the prosecution first launched an investigation into Güler on charges of "membership of a terrorist organization" but that investigation was dropped. The prosecution then brought the lesser charge of "terrorism propaganda" after they saw that the attempt to prosecute her for "membership" failed.
After a short recess, the court announced its verdict, saying that the social media posts included in the indictment did not contain any element of violence and acquitted Güler.
History of the case
The Bismil Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had launched an investigation into Nişmiye Güler on charges of “membership in a a terrorist organization” and “terrorism propaganda.” The prosecutor’s office had sent the case and investigation report prepared by the Diyarbakır Provincial Gendarmerie Commandership Anti-Cybercrime Branch dated 27 May 2021 to the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had sent the file to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office as Güler resided in İstanbul.
The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had decided not to pursue the investigation for “membership in a terrorist organization” due to inadequate evidence, yet filed an indictment on charges of “terrorism propaganda” over her social media posts.
The prosecutor in their indictment defined JinNews as a “so-called news platform of PKK/KCK Armed Terrorist Organization” and demanded that Güler be convicted of “terrorism propaganda” on the grounds that she retweeted JinNews content on her personal social media account.