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.

Sadiye Eser

Sadiye Eser

Mezopotamya news agency (MA) reporter Sadiye Eser was arrested in Istanbul on 29 November 2019. Regarding the file of Eser detained on the grounds of intelligence information the prosecutor's office issued a "confidentiality" order. Eser was not allowed to see her lawyer for 24 hours due to the "confidentiality” order.


Eser was taken to the courthouse on 3 December 2019 after four days in custody. The court she was referred to jailed Eser on the charge of "being a member of an armed terrorist organization.” Eser was sent to Bakırköy Women's Closed Prison.


The indictment against Eser was completed on 14 January 2020. In the six-page indictment prepared by the Terror and Organized Crimes Investigation Bureau of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Eser's overseas travel records were also included.


The fact that Eser did not inform the police about the password belonging to her mobile phone, which was confiscated when she was taken into custody, was considered as "organizational behavior" in the indictment. Kurdish songs in the MP3 player belonging to Eser were also among the evidence in the indictment.


Testimony about Eser by Ö.B., a person under investigation in Antalya, were also included in the indictment.


Based on the statements of Ö.B., the prosecutor claimed that Eser "worked for the intelligence unit of the PKK/KCK organization called Navende Lekolini Center for Political-Strategic Studies (NLP)." The prosecutor demanded that Eser be punished for "being a member of an armed terrorist organization," claiming that "she was trained in Qandil for the organization’s intelligence unit."


The indictment was accepted by the Istanbul 22nd High Criminal Court. Eser, who made her defense at the first hearing of the case held in a courtroom in Silivri Prison Campus on 26 March 2020, denied the accusations.


Saying that there are only lecture notes in the music player, Eser stated that there is no music and she does not know who uploaded it and how. Eser noted that some of her international travels were within the scope of visiting relatives, and some of them were within the scope of journalism activities.


The court decided to release Eser under judicial control measures such as a ban on leaving the country and reporting to the police station closest to her home.


The next hearing of the case will be held on 9 March 2021.