The main trial of Özgür Gündem newspaper, which was closed by a Statutory Decree, continued at the 23rd Heavy Penal Court in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse today (June 4).
The court board presided by Ahmet Uğuz gave their interlocutory judgement and ruled that the arrest warrant issued for Ragıp Zarakolu shall be lifted. As for the arrest warrant issued for Filiz Koçali, the court board ruled that the warrant shall continue to be in effect.
The request submitted by attorney Özcan Kılıç for the removal of international travel ban imposed on Eren Keskin has been rejected. The court board also ruled that Necmiye Alpay shall be exempt from attending the hearings and the imprisonment of Kemal Sancılı, who was arrested in the district of İpsala in Edirne on May 11, shall continue.
The next hearing will be held on October 10, 2018 at 9.45 a.m.
Nine people stand trial
Nine people are tried in the main trial of Özgür Gündem, namely the columnists and Consultant Board members of the newspaper Filiz Koçali, Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay, Ragıp Zarakolu and Bilge Aykut, Editor-in-Chief Zana (Bilir) Kaya, Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya, columnist Eren Keskin, Grant Holder Kemal Sancılı.
All nine people are facing prison sentence on charges of "disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state", "being member of an armed organization" and "establishing an organization with felon intent" as per the related article of the Turkish Penal Code as well as "propagandizing for terrorist organization" as per the Anti-Terror Law.
Trials of Özgür Gündem Editors-in-Chief on Watch
The Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign of Özgür Gündem daily had begun on May 3, 2016 and ended on August 7, 2016. Daily was closed through the Statutory Decree No. 675 issued under the State of Emergency.
Investigations have been launched into 50 of the 56 Editors-in-Chief on Watch who have participated in the campaign. In 11 of these cases, the court has ordered not to prosecute and in 38 cases, a lawsuit has been brought. One case has been dismissed due to expiration of the Statute of Limitation in the investigation
Relying on the Articles 7(2) and 6(2) of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713, the 38 Editors-in-Chief on Watch have stood trial on the charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" and for "publishing and spreading statements of terrorist organizations.
Cases in which court ruled no prosecution
İhsan Eliaçık, Sebahat Tuncel, Ahmet Abakay, Eşber Yağmurdereli, Hasip Kaplan, Işın Eliçin, Kemal Can, Mustafa Sönmez, Melda Onur, Uğur Karadaş, Nurcan Baysal.
Editors-in-Chief on Watch, against whom lawsuits were brought
A. Kumru Başer, Ahmet Nesin, Ayşe Batumlu, Ayşe Düzkan, Beyza Üstün,Can Dündar, Celal Başlangıç, Celalettin Can, Cengiz Baysoy, Çilem Küçükkkeleş, Derya Okatan, Dicle Anter, Erol Önderoğlu, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Faruk Balıkçı, Faruk Eren, Fehim Işık, Hüseyin Tahmaz, Hakkı Boltan, Hasan Cemal, Hasan Hayri Şanlı, İbrahim Bodur, İhsan Çaralan,Julide Kural, Murat Çelikkan, Murat Uyurkulak, Nadire Mater, Necmiye Alpay, Nevin Erdemir, Öncü Akgül, Ragıp Duran, Said Sefa, Şanar Yurdatapan, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Tuğrul Eryılmaz, Veysi Altay, Yıldırım Türker.
* Deniz Türkali's case was dismissed due to expiration of the Statute of Limitation in the investigation.
* The cases of Özgür Gündem daily's former editor-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol, columnists Mehmet Ali Çelebi and Hüseyin Bektaş, who were on duty during the campaign, have been combined with the cases of Düzkan, Duran and Çelebi.
The 38 Editors-in-Chief on Watch have stood trial / are standing on the charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" and for "publishing and spreading statements of terrorist organizations under the Articles 7(2) and 6(2) of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.
Cases brought against 4 writers
Lawsuits were filed against Ömer Ağın and Dilşah Kocakaya due to their articles published on Özgür Gündem daily, while Celal Başlangıç was the Editor-in-Chief on Watch; against İmam Canpolat due to an article published while Cengiz Baysoy was the Editor-in-Chief on Watch, and against İlham Bakır due to an article published while Jülide Kural was the Editor-in-Chief on Watch.
Önderoğlu, Nesin, Korur-Fincancı in 10-days pre-trial detention
* Editors-in-Chief on Watch, Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Şebnem Korur Fincancı were arrested in June 2016 and released after 10 days.
The next hearing of the three writers whose trials continue, will be held on December, 27, 2017.
68,000 TL (15,619 Euros) fine, 352 months and 15 days of prison sentence
Verdict has been rendered in the trials of Şanar Yurdatapan, İbrahim Bodur, Cengiz Baysoy, İmam Canpolat, Çilem Küçükkeleş, Nadire Mater, Yıldırım Türker, Hasan Cemal, Faruk Balıkçı, Dicle Anter, Derya Okatan, Kumru Başer, Ayşe Batumlu, Jülide Kural, İlham Bakır, Murat Uyurkulak, Murat Çelikkan, Beyza Üstün, Nevin Erdemir, Hakkı Boltan, Hasan Hayri Şanlı and Tuğrul Eryılmaz.
Şanlı, Erdemir and Boltan have been acquitted.
Prison sentences of Çelikkan (18 months), Canpolat (15 months) not deferred
The court has ruled in 22 cases in total, that the editors-in-chief on watch be sentenced to 68,000 TL (15,619 Euros) fine and 235 months and 15 days in prison. All prison sentences except those of Canpolat and Çelikkan, have been deferred.
Çelikkan entered Kırklareli Prison on August 14, 2017 and was transferred to open prison on October 14, 2017. He was released on October 21, 2017.
Özgür Gündem Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya is defendant in all 38 cases. His case was separated from the others in the trials together with the other Editors-in-Chief on Watch. İstanbul 23rd Heavy Criminal Court is combining Kızılkaya's case with the main trial.
Özgür Gündem main trial
In the main trial, Özgür Gündem Consultant Board members Necmiye Alpay, Aslı Erdoğan, Ragıp Zarakolu, Filiz Koçali, Eren Keskin, Editors-in-Chief Zana Kaya, İnan Kızılkaya, Kemal Sancılı and Bilge Oykut are standing trial.
Kızılkaya and Sancılı are in detention on remand.
Dates of the hearings
* November 2, 2017, Said Sefa – İstanbul 22nd Heavy Criminal Court
* December 26, 2017, Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin, Şebnem Korur Fincancı - İstanbul 13th Heavy Criminal Court
* December 28, 2017, Veysi Altay – İstanbul 22nd Heavy Criminal Court
* December 28, 2017, Can Dündar – İstanbul 22nd Heavy Criminal Court
* January 18, 2018, Ayşe Düzkan, Ragıp Duran - İstanbul 13th Heavy Criminal Court
* March 15, 2018, Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, Ömer Ağın, İhsan Çaralan, Celalettin Can, Fehim Işık, Öncü Akgül, Dilşah Kocakaya - İstanbul 14th Heavy Criminal Court.
* May 7, 2018, Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, Ömer Ağın, İhsan Çaralan, Celalettin Can, Fehim Işık, Öncü Akgül and Dilşah Kocakaya - İstanbul 14th Heavy Criminal Court
* September 4, 2018, Can Dündar and Veysi Altay - İstanbul 22nd Heavy Criminal Court
* October 9, 2018, Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Şebnem Korur Fincancı - İstanbul 13th Heavy Criminal Court
* Photograph: Twitter
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