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.

Retrial of novelist Aslı Erdoğan begins

Retrial of novelist Aslı Erdoğan begins

The trial court’s decision to drop the “terrorism propaganda” charge against Aslı Erdoğan in the “Özgür Gündem main trial” was overturned by an appellate court in June




The retrial of novelist and former Özgür Gündem editorial advisory board member Aslı Erdoğan on the charge of “terrorism propaganda” got underway at the Istanbul 23rd High Criminal Court on 16 December 2021.


The retrial was ordered by the 27th Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice, an appellate court, which reversed the trial court’s decision to drop the “propaganda” charge against Erdoğan in the “Özgür Gündem main trial” on the grounds that the four-month statute of limitations prescribed in Article 26 of Turkey’s Press Law would not be applicable in Erdoğan’s case since the articles she stood trial for have also been published online.


P24 was in the courthouse to monitor the hearing. However, citing Covid-19 measures, the court did not allow spectators in the courtroom. Erdoğan, who lives abroad, did not attend. She was represented by her lawyer, Özcan Kılıç.


Ruling to inquire about the URLs of Erdoğan’s articles of the cybercrimes unit under the General Directorate of Security, the court adjourned the trial until 10 February 2022.


The pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem was “temporarily” closed on 16 August 2016 by the Istanbul 8th Criminal Judgeship of Peace, which cited “terrorism propaganda” as the grounds for its decision. The same day, Erdoğan and other executives and editorial advisory board members of the newspaper were taken into custody in police raids.


Erdoğan was jailed pending trial on 19 August 2016. She was released after spending more than four months behind bars. At the final hearing of the Özgür Gündem main trial, held on 14 February 2020, Erdoğan was acquitted of “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state” (TCK 302) and “membership in a terrorist organization” (TCK 314/2) charges while the “terrorism propaganda” (TMK 7/2) charge against her was dropped.