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 Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu sentenced to more than 6 years in prison

Journalists Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu sentenced to more than 6 years in prison


Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu, former employees of the Mezopotamya Agency, sentenced to 6 years and 3 months each for “membership in a terrorist organization”




The ninth hearing of the trial of former Mezopotamya Agency employees Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu on charges of “membership of an organization was held at the İstanbul 22nd High Criminal Court on 8 September 2022.


Eser and Topaloğlu were represented by their attorneys Özcan Kılıç and Ayşe Acinikli at the hearing, which they did not attend.


At the hearing, which was monitored by P24, the prosecution repeated their final opinion that was read out at the previous hearing and demanded sentencing for Eser and Topaloğlu on the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization.”


Delivering a statement against the final opinion, lawyer Özcan Kılıç said that his client Eser had been included in the case due to her journalistic activities and said the indictment was based on “weak, unsubstantiated and abstract accusations.” Arguing the criminal act and the criminal intent had not been established, Kılıç demanded Eser’s release.


In a defense statement against the prosecutor’s final opinion, Topaloğlu’s attorney Ayşe Acinikli reminded the court that the statement of the secret witness in the file, referred to by initials Ö.B., had not been taken before the court. Acinikli said that witness statements not received before the court could not form the basis of sentencing according to the Code of Penal Procedure. Acinikli also referred to higher court rulings, which ruled that statements by witnesses who had opted for effective remorse could not be taken as the basis of sentencing and demanded the release of her client as the allegations had been refuted.


Announcing its verdict at the end of the hearing, the court sentenced Eser and Topaloğlu each to six years and three months of imprisonment on the charge of “membership of an organisation.”