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.

Şirin Kabakcı

Şirin Kabakcı

Şirin Kabakcı, a journalist who served as the former Konya bureau chief of Zaman newspaper, was arrested on 11 May 2017.


Kabakcı, who appeared before a criminal judgeship of peace on 24 May 2017, was jailed pending trial on the charge of "membership in an armed terrorist organization" and sent to the Konya E Type Closed Prison.


In the indictment against him, issued on 2 October 2017 by the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Kabakcı was charged with "membership in an armed terrorist organization" over his employment with Zaman newspaper, his phone records with alleged "FETÖ members", his overseas travels and his participation in protests against the arrests of Ekrem Dumanlı and Hidayet Karaca.


The first hearing of Kabakcı's trial was held on 19 June 2018 at the Istanbul 35th High Criminal Court. Kabakcı addressed the court via SEGBİS from the Konya Prison. The court ruled for the continuation of Kabakcı's detention.


Meanwhile, a previous case filed against Kabakcı for "defamation through the press" over a complaint by Mehmet Hasip Şenalp, one of the owners of Kon TV, that was closed in 2015, was reopened after the 15 July coup attempt and merged with the ongoing case against Kabakcı.




The fourth hearing of Kabakcı’s trial was held on 26 December 2018. Taking into account the time he spent in detention, the court ruled for Kabakcı’s release under judicial control measures.


Final opinion


The eighth hearing of Kabakcı's trial on charges of "membership in a terrorist organization," "insult" and "violation of privacy" was held on 3 December 2019. The presiding judge announced that the prosecutor had submitted his final opinion on 11 November 2019. The prosecutor asked the court to convict Kabakcı of "membership in a terrorist organization" and separate the "insult” and "violation of privacy" accusations.


Sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison


At the ninth hearing of the case, held on 20 February 2020, the court sentenced Kabakcı to 6 years and 3 months in prison for "membership of a terrorist organization." Acquitting the journalist of "breach of confidentiality," the court separated the file against Kabakcı on the charge of "insult through the press."