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Canan Coşkun, Ali Açar, Can Uğur
September 17, 2020
Defendants: Canan Coşkun, Ali Açar, Can Uğur
Media Outlet and Position: Cumhuriyet, BirGün newspapers – Reporters
Accusations: Targeting and revealing identity of public official participated in anti-terror operations
Possible sentence: One to three years
Court: İstanbul 34. High Criminal Court
Canan Coşkun and Ali Açar, reporters of Cumhuriyet newspaper along with BirGün reporter Can Uğur face criminal charges over their reporting on the investigation opened over the death of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan who died after being hit by a tear gas canister on the head during Gezi Park protests in 2013.
Journalists are accused of revealing the identity of a police officer, who is a suspect in the murder investigation, on the charges of “targeting public officials who participated in anti-terror operations”. According to Anti-Terror Law Article 6, journalists are facing a prison sentence from one up to three years.
The investigation was opened in 2016 against the news articles titled “Police officer allegedly shot Berkin Elvan didn’t remember his place of duty” which was published in Cumhuriyet and in BirGün newspapers with the title “The reason for confidentiality order on Berkin investigation: Police officer’s reputation be damaged”.
Due to suspension of all judicial proceedings in March and April because of COVID-19 pandemic, the first hearing on April 9 is postponed to September 17.