Reports and data from IPI’s regular monitoring of journalists’ trials in Turkey
LATEST REPORTS ON TRIAL MONITORING
April 5, 2023
IPI monitored the eighth hearing of the trial in which Vedat Arık, Olcay Büyüktaş, Hazal Ocak and İpek Özbey face charges of “identifying state officials on anti-terror duties as targets” and “violation of privacy” that was held in the Istanbul 26th High Criminal Court on April 5, 2023.
February 21, 2023
Turkey Trial Blog: ANKA Editor-in-Chief faces trial for what used to be considered standard reporting
On February 21, 2023, a representative of the International Press Institute (IPI) attended and monitored the trial of journalist Mansur Çelik at the Ankara 14th High Criminal Court as part of IPI’s Turkey trial monitoring programme. Alongside IPI, Çelik’s trial was also attended by representatives from the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), Association of Journalists (GC), Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD), Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC), Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), several Members of Parliament from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and other civil society representatives and journalists.
December 20, 2022
On December 20, 2022, International Press Institute (IPI) representatives attended the final hearing in the trial of freelance journalist Sezgin Kartal, who was acquitted of the charges of “insult via audio, visual or written content” following a complaint by Fuat Uğur, a columnist for the pro-government outlet Türkiye Newspaper.
June 29, 2022
On June 29, 2022, a representative of IPI attended and monitored the trial of journalist Hayri Demir at the Ankara 15th Heavy Penal Court as part of IPI’s Turkey trial monitoring programme. Alongside IPI, Demir’s trial was also attended by representatives from the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), Amnesty Turkey, and the German Embassy in Ankara.
February 21-23, 2022
During the week of February 21, 2022, International Press Institute (IPI) representatives attended and monitored several trials against journalists in Istanbul facing various charges including Gezi and Bloomberg Trials
December 1, 2021
International Press Institute (IPI) representatives monitored the December 1 hearing of four Cumhuriyet journalists and editors on trial for reporting on illegal construction carried out on a property rented by Presidential Office Communications Director Fahrettin Altun. IPI representatives showed their solidarity with the journalists, as did representatives of many other international and local journalists associations, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS).
October 12, 2021
On October 12, 2021, International Press Institute (IPI) representative attended and monitored the trial of Kurdish journalist Ruşen Takva at the Van 5thHigh Criminal Court as part of IPI’s Turkey trial monitoring programme. Joined by a representative of the British Embassy in Ankara, the IPI delegation traveled to the eastern border city of Van to monitor the trials and to meet with local journalists to learn more about the challenges Kurdish journalists face while reporting from the region.
September 30, 2021
On September 30, 2021, International Press Institute (IPI) representatives monitored the third hearing of the retrial of Erol Önderoğlu, an IPI member and the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative, as well as his two co-defendants, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Ahmet Nesin. They are on trial for participating in a solidarity campaign with the now-shuttered pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem in 2016.
September 9, 2021
IPI global network representatives monitored the hearings of journalists Deniz Yücel and Ahmet Sever as well as three former Zaman journalists in three separate trials on September 9 at Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul.
May 21, 2021
On May 21, 2021, IPI Turkey National Committee member İpek Yezdani monitored the second hearing of the trial against journalist Melis Alphan. Alphan was accused of “spreading terror propaganda” over a photo that she posted on social media of the 2015 Newroz celebrations in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır. She was facing up to seven and a half years in prison.
February 23-26, 2021
During the week of February 22, 2021, International Press Institute (IPI) representatives, as part of IPI’s Turkey trial monitoring programme, attended and monitored two hearings at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse where several journalists, including current or former reporters from Bloomberg News, Tele1 and Cumhuriyet, were on trial for critical coverage of the authorities.
February 3, 2021
IPI Turkey National Committee Vice Chair Emre Kızılkaya monitored the first hearing of the retrial of Erol Önderoğlu, an IPI member and the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative, as well as his two co-defendants, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Ahmet Nesin. The three were back in court after their acquittals were overturned by an appeals court. They were put on trial for participating in a solidarity campaign with now-shuttered pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper in 2016.
October 13, 2020
On September 17, 2020, IPI attended the first hearing in Turkey of Cumhuriyet journalists Canan Coşkun and Ali Açar and BirGün reporter Can Uğur, who face criminal charges over their reporting on the investigation opened over the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died after being hit on the head by a tear gas canister during Gezi Park protests in 2013.
September 14, 2020
International Press Institute (IPI) member İpek Yezdani monitored the trial of seven journalists from various outlets reported on the funeral of a National Intelligence (MIT) agent who died in Libya in February during Turkish military operations. Five were found guilty receiving a total of 22 years in prison for allegedly “defying the MIT Law”.
July 6, 2020
International Press Institute (IPI) member İpek Yezdani monitored the trial of Jamal Khashoggi who was killed by a group of people at the Saudi Arabia consulate in İstanbul on October 20, 2018.
March 31, 2020
The final report covers data of 319 hearings covering 169 cases (involving 219 separate charges) monitored in 15 cities across Turkey between February 26, 2019 and March 6, 2020. In 98 of the 169 cases, defendants were charged with terrorism-related offenses. A total of 89 journalists were convicted during this period. 69 of these, or 78 percent, were for terrorist-related crimes.
March 27, 2020
The data collected between January 1 and February 29, 2020 reinforce the argument that Turkish courts are failing to provide an effective domestic remedy for rights violations, the exhaustion of which is a precondition for application to the ECtHR. Journalists and others targeted for exercising freedom of expression are therefore being denied effective protection of their rights.
February 24, 2020
International Press Institute (IPI) delegation monitored the trial of six journalists who are charged with reporting on minister Berat Albayrak’s leaked emails. Proceedings in ‘RedHack’ case drag on after three years, the key “unidentified” witness has not been called on to testify.
February 19, 2020
International Press Institute (IPI) Executive Director Barbara Trionfi spent a day in Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse to monitor trials of journalists Adil Demirci and Deniz Yücel. The cases reflected the uncertainty and distrust that Turkey’s journalism community was left in.
January 20, 2020
Report’s findings confirm the pattern of violating fundamental rights to liberty, freedom of expression and fair trial guaranteed in the Turkish Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
December 18, 2019
Turkey’s prosecutors continue to conflate journalism for terrorism propaganda making hundreds of dedicated journalists losing years fighting spurious charges
December 6, 2019
An International Press Institute (IPI) delegation spent a day in Istanbul’s Justice Palace to monitor four different journalists’ trials. The cases reflected the breadth of Turkey’s ongoing crackdown on the press.
September 25, 2019
Turkey’s courts continue to prosecute journalism while ignoring fair trial principles
July 30, 2019
Report finds no significant improvement of courts’ protection of journalists’ rights
June 13, 2019
Representatives of IPI’s secretariat observed four hearings in Istanbul in May 2019. The hearings were part of trials against journalists Hasan Cemal, Çağdaş Erdoğan and Cansu Pişkin, Kemal Karagöz and Kemal Demir
January 28, 2018
The monitoring revealed that Turkish courts fail to respect a wide range of rights related to personal liberty and the rights of defendants guaranteed under Turkish constitutional law as well as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
May 11, 2018
Numerous irregularities marred defendants’ right to a fair trial