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.

Top court: Abdullah Kılıç’s arrest on new charge violated his right to liberty

Top court: Abdullah Kılıç’s arrest on new charge violated his right to liberty

Constitutional Court rejects other claims in Kılıç’s application but rules that the jailed journalist be paid TL 25,000 in compensation for his re-arrest


The Constitutional Court has ruled that journalist Abdullah Kılıç’s arrest on a different charge following his release in the “FETÖ media trial” violated his right to liberty and security and ordered that he be paid TL 25,000 in compensation.

The Constitutional Court’s Second Section ruled on Kılıç’s application on 8 January 2020. In the ruling, rendered through a majority vote, two judges wrote dissenting opinions, saying that Kılıç’s re-arrest was “based on legitimate grounds” and that it was “a proportionate measure.”

The top court’s Second Section rejected the rest of the claims in Kılıç’s application.

The Constitutional Court found Kılıç’s claims that his “right to liberty and security was violated due to his unlawful arrest,” that “the order for his continued detention announced with the trial court’s verdict was unlawful,” and that his “right to liberty and security was violated because the court that reviewed the objection to the decision for his continued detention was not impartial” to be inadmissible on the grounds that they were “manifestly ill-founded.”

Kılıç, the former broadcast coordinator of Habertürk TV, was jailed pending trial on 29 July 2016 on the charge of “membership of an armed terrorist organization” as part of sweeping operations targeting journalists purported to have ties with the Fethullah Gülen network. Kılıç’s newspaper columns and his social media posts were cited among grounds for his arrest.

In March 2017, at the end of the first hearing of the case publicly known as the “FETÖ media trial,” the trial court ruled to release 21 jailed journalists, including Kılıç, from pre-trial detention. However, Kılıç and 12 other journalists released by the court were re-arrested the same day on “coup” charges. The new accusation was combined with the “FETÖ media trial” through a joinder, only to be dropped later during the proceedings upon the request of the prosecution.

At the final hearing of the FETÖ media trial, on 8 March 2018, Kılıç and 10 of his co-defendants were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on the charge of “membership of a terrorist group.” Twelve of their co-defendants were each sentenced to 7 years and 6 months on the same charge and two defendants were found guilty of “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member.” The trial court’s verdict was upheld by the 2nd Criminal Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice on 22 October 2018.