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Defendants: Atakan Sönmez

Media Outlet and Position: Cumhuriyet – Former news editor

Accusations: Making consecutive terrorist propaganda

Possible sentences: –

Court: İstanbul 13. High Criminal Court

Case Background: 

Atakan Sönmez, the former news editor of Cumhuriyet newspaper, faces charges of “making consecutive terrorist propaganda” over two articles published on Turkish military operations in Afrin, Syria. Articles published on January 20, 2018, were cited as criminal evidence, accusing the newspaper of publishing news articles in support of Kurdish outlawed forces in northern Syria.

During the third hearing on June 18, 2019, the prosecutor requested prison sentence on the charge of “making consecutive terrorist propaganda”. The court adjourned the next hearing until July 19.

During the July 19 hearing, Sönmez submitted his statement, reminding that other news articles covering the same topic have been dismissed by the prosecutor for lacking grounds for legal action. Sönmez requested his acquittal.

The court adjourned the next hearing to November 7, 2019.