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 Oktay Candemir appears in court for new trial

Journalist Oktay Candemir appears in court for new trial

Candemir is charged with “terrorism propaganda” for his social media posts and news footage found on his digital equipment seized during a police raid on his home




Journalist Oktay Candemir appeared before a criminal court in Van province on 17 June 2021 for the first hearing of his trial on the charge of “terrorism propaganda.”


Candemir is on trial for his social media posts and images on his digital equipment seized during a raid on his home in April 2019. Candemir, who was taken into custody during the raid, was later released under judicial control measures. An indictment was issued against Candemir two years later, accusing the journalist of “terrorism propaganda” based on a number of posts he shared on Facebook between 2014 and 2015 and news footage he took at meetings and demonstrations organized by the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in Ağrı, Kars and Iğdır between 2005 and 2009.


The trial is overseen by the Van 5th High Criminal Court. P24 monitored the hearing, where Candemir and his lawyer Erhan Çiftçiler were present. Fellow journalists also followed the hearing.


Addressing the court for his defense statement, Candemir said his social media posts held as the grounds for the accusation were part of his journalistic work. Asserting that the posts were not intended as propaganda, Candemir requested to be acquitted.


Addressing the court next, Candemir’s lawyer Erhan Çiftçiler said the same social media posts were held as evidence against Candemir in a previous trial in 2018, at the end of which the journalist was acquitted. Çiftçiler added that the acquittal verdict became final.


Çiftçiler added: “Social media posts by Candemir from the same period have been picked for this trial. This indictment is not a properly issued indictment. We demand that the social media posts in the previous trial be included in the current case file and that the screenshots be left uncut and in color.” He demanded the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of his client.


After hearing Candemir and his lawyer’s statements, the court decided to send the file to the prosecutor's office for the preparation of their final opinion and adjourned the trial until 23 September 2021.