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.

Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp given prison term

Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp given prison term

The court sentenced journalists Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp to 2 years 13 months and 15 days of imprisonment each for “terrorism propaganda,” acquitted them of “membership in a terrorist organization”


The 20th hearing in the trial of four people, including Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorism propaganda” was held at the İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court on 2 November 2022.

Defendants’ lawyers attended the hearing, which P24 monitored. Şahin and Gayıp did not attend the hearing.

Repeating their opinion as to the accusations presented at the hearing held on 22 March 2022, the prosecutor demanded sentencing for Şahin and Gayıp over the impugned crime.

“Evidence gathered illegally”

Gayıp’s lawyer Kader Tonç said “The investigation was not duly launched. Security forces had collected evidence illegally before an investigating prosecutor was assigned. The Constitutional Court has ruled that evidence collected by the police in the form of cyber-patrolling is unconstitutional and against the law. The case file contains no elements showing that my client has an illegal or organic connection with the organization. We request acquittal on both charges.”

Şahin’s lawyer Hasan Yaman stated that elements of the impugned crime did not exist and requested acquittal.

Acquitting Şahin and Gayıp for “membership in a terrorist organization,” the court sentenced the two journalists to 2 years 13 months and 15 days of imprisonment each for “terrorism propaganda.”

Sentencing Şahin to an additional 10 months of imprisonment for “propaganda” over a social media post which shows Şahin holding a flag, the court deferred the sentence.

The court also ruled to keep the international travel ban on Şahin and Gayıp in place until the ruling is finalized.