The second hearing of the case, where 23 people, six of whom have been arrested, including journalist İsminaz Temel, have been tried on charges of "being members of an armed terrorist organization" and "propagandizing for a terrorist organization", was held at the İstanbul 27th Heavy Penal Court in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse yesterday (November 29).
The court board ruled that the arrested defendants Hüdayi Yurtsever, İlhan Aslan and Mazlum Demirtaş shall be released.
The board also ruled for the continuation of the detention of arrested defendants journalist İsminaz Temel, Erkan Kakça and Coşkun Yiğit.
The next hearing will be held on February 14, 2019.
The court board consisted of Presiding Judge Tamer Keskin; Members Ramazan Çiçek, Talip Ergen; Prosecutor Murat Demircioğlu.
Probation requested to be lifted
Arrested defendants Coşkun Yiğit, Erkan Kakça, Hünkar Hüdayi Yurtsever, İlhan Aslan, İsminaz Temel, Mazlum Demirtaş; defendants pending trial without arrest Havva Çuştan, Ali Haydar Doğan, İsmail Geçer, Mehmet Aslan, Nihat Göktaş, Onur Binbir, Özlem Gümüştaş, Sercan Genç, Sezin Uçar, Özgen Saadet, Meral Tatar, Ali Düzkün, Garib Ekin Saygılı, Gülhan Kaya, Doğukan Onur Gürsoy and their attorneys stood before the judge at the hearing that was held yesterday.
Presenting their statements of defense, all of the defendants pending trial without arrest rejected the charges of "being members of an armed terrorist organization" and "propagandizing for a terrorist organization."
The defendants requested that the conditions of probation, which was imposed on them 13 months ago, be lifted. The attorneys of the defendants demanded the immediate acquittal of their clients.
Temel: I am tried due to my journalistic activities
Arrested ETHA (Etkin News Agency) reporter İsminaz Temel stated that she had been behind bars for 13 months and 10 days and said:
"My journalists friends have not left me alone for a year. Saturday Mothers/People and rights defenders as well as international committees. I would like to thank all of them. I have been doing journalism since 2006 and define myself as a socialist journalist.
"I am being tried due to my journalistic activities. All evidence included in my case file are the photographs taken by the police while I was doing my job.
"In all of the photographs in the file, I had my camera on my neck, my pen and notebook in my hand. I am underlining it once again: These were all demonstrations held within the frame of democratic rights. But, I did not participate in these demonstrations, I followed them as a journalist."
Obligation to give signatures lifted
Announcing its interim judgement, the court ruled that the arrest of journalist İsminaz Temel, Coşkun Yiğit and Erkan Kakça shall continue on the ground that "there is concrete evidence of strong criminal suspicion."
While the court board ruled for the release of arrested defendants Hünkar Hüdayi Yurtsever, İlhan Aslan and Mazlum Demirtaş from priosn, the obligation to give signatures, which had previously been imposed on defendants pending trial without arrest, was lifted.
Among the ones following the hearing yesterday were Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Zeynel Özen, Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Saturday Mothers/People and human rights organizations.
Access to the website of the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) has been prohibited in Turkey since July 27, 2017. The agency has still been publishing and sharing its news on its Facebook account.
Adil Demirci, who was detained on the same day as Pınar Gayıp and Semiha Şahin was arrested on April 17. The number of arrested ETHA journalists has increased to six with the arrests of Gayıp and Şahin.
23 lawyer and journalists 13 of whom are pending trial in jail are charged with "propagandizing for an illegal organization". The news covered by the journalists are cited as offense.
While Cuştan was released at her first hearing on July 17, Kayar was released on October 31, 2018. (TP/SD)
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