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.

Sabiha Temizkan

Sabiha Temizkan

An investigation was launched by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against journalist Sabiha Temizkan as a result of a report prepared by the Cyber Crimes Unit of the General Directorate of Security.


Temizkan, who was investigated on the grounds of her social media posts, went to the police station to give her statement on 13 February 2020. The indictment against Temizkan, whose Twitter and Facebook posts were asked in her interrogation, was completed on 5 March 2020.


In the indictment prepared by the Press Crimes Investigation Bureau of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Temizkan was charged with "making propaganda for a terrorist organization." Temizkan’s post which stated “the Maxmur Camp has fallen into the hands of ISIS, the HPG will defend Southern Kurdistan to the end" in 2014 was shown as evidence for the accusation.


The two-page indictment, based on a single post, was accepted by the Istanbul 35th High Criminal Court.


The first hearing of the trial was held on 25 June 2020. Temizkan, who could not attend the first hearing due to health problems, made her defense at the second hearing on 22 September 2020. Temizkan stated that the subject of the accusation was news and did not constitute a propaganda crime and demanded her acquittal.


Explaining his opinion, the prosecutor demanded Temizkan be punished for the crime that was attributed to her. Claiming that the crime was committed through the press and broadcast, the prosecutor demanded that the sentence requested for Temizkan be increased by half in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law.


In the fourth hearing of the case on 22 October 2020, Temizkan made a defense against the prosecutor’s opinion on the merits and said, “I shared a news story. There is only one sentence in the middle and I gave it in quotes. I do not think I committed a crime with this post.”


At the end of the trial, the court sentenced Temizkan to one year in prison for "making propaganda for a terrorist organization". However, the court, which increased the sentence by half with the opinion that the crime was committed through the press and broadcasting, sentenced Temizkan to 1 year and 6 months in prison.


Temizkan’s lawyers appealed the judgment.