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.

Prosecutor demands sentence for journalist Buse Söğütlü

Prosecutor demands sentence for journalist Buse Söğütlü

Söğütlü is on trial for a Twitter post about Judge Akın Gürlek. Court is expected to issue its judgment at the next hearing, set for 27 January 2022

 

CANSU PİŞKİN, İSTANBUL

 

Gazete Yolculuk reporter Buse Söğütlü appeared before the Istanbul 23rd High Criminal Court on 14 September 2021 for the fifth hearing of her trial on the charge of “marking an official involved in the fight against terrorism as a target” under Article 6/1 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK). Söğütlü is on trial for a Twitter post in which she commented on a trial overseen by judge Akın Gürlek.

 

P24 was in the courthouse to monitor the hearing but citing Covid-19 measures, the judges did not allow spectators in the courtroom.

 

During the previous hearing, held on 14 April 2021, Söğütlü was told by the court that she should submit an additional defense statement for “insulting a public official” (Article 125/3 of the Turkish Penal Code), a charge that is not included in the indictment.

 

Söğütlü’s lawyer Ezgi Önalan told the court that since Judge Gürlek, who filed a petition to the court ahead of this hearing, asking the panel to sentence Söğütlü under TMK 6/1, is not formally granted participant status by the court, his petition should be removed from the case file.

 

The prosecutor then submitted their final opinion. Claiming that Söğütlü disclosed the full name of the judge in her Twitter post shared on 18 March 2019, the prosecutor requested that the court convict Söğütlü as charged.

 

Granting Söğütlü and her lawyers time to prepare their statements in response to the prosecutor's final opinion, the court adjourned the trial until 27 January 2022.

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