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.

Journalists face prison sentences for supporting Özgür Gündem 

Journalists face prison sentences for supporting Özgür Gündem 

11 people, including journalists Mavioğlu and Başlangıç face up to 7.5 years for participating in a solidarity campaign with the daily 

The seventh hearing of the trial against journalists who joined the “Co-Editor-in-Chief for a Day Campaign” in solidarity with the shuttered Özgür Gündem daily was held on May 7, 2018, at the 14th High Criminal Court of Istanbul.

Journalists Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, İhsan Çaralan, Fehim Işık, Öncü Akgül, Özgür Gündem Co-Editor-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol, President of the Confederation of  Trade Unions of Turkey – Press Union (DİSK Basın-İş) Faruk Eren and the Spokesperson of the 78ers Initiative Celalettin Can are facing charges for participating a the solidarity campaign that was launched on May 3, 2016, World Press Freedom Day. 

The hearing, monitored by P24, was attended by Mavioğlu, Eren and the lawyers of the defendants. The prosecutor who gave his final opinion demanded that journalists who supported the campaign to be sentenced on charges leveled against them in the indictment.  

The prosecutor demanded up to 7.5 years in prison for Mavioğlu, Başlangıç, Akgül, Eren, Çaralan, Işık ve Can on charges of “conducting propaganda for an armed terrorist organization” as per article 7/2 of the Law on Fight Against Terrorism (TMK). All were accused for news articles published under their supervision as Co-Editor-in-Chief for a day.  

The prosecutor demanded prison terms up to 13 years for Aykol, as the daily’s permanent Co-Editor-in-Chief, on charges of “conducting successive propaganda for an armed terrorist organization.”

The prosecutor also requested the sentencing of four people - Ömer Ağın, Veysel Kemer, Dilşah Karakaya and Yüksel Oğuz – up to 7.5 years in prison each, on charges of “conducting propaganda for an armed terrorist organization” on the grounds of “writing the content of articles that is considered as criminal offense.” 

Upon the defense’s request of additional time to prepare their final statement, the court postponed the trial, setting the next hearing for July 16, 2018.