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İstanbul 22nd Heavy Penal Court sentenced journalist and columnist Yıldırım Türker to 1 year, 10 months and 15 days in prison on charge of "propagandizing for an [illegal] organization. The prison sentence was deferred.
Trial of Yıldırım Türker
Following journalist Nadire Mater, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined 6,000 TL (1,500 Euros) on charge of "terror propaganda", Yıldırım Türker also stood trial before İstanbul 22nd Heavy Penal Court today (March 7).
Türker was not present at the hearing.
Ataktürk: I wish you take an independent decision
Türker's attorney Emel Ataktürk addressing the judges said, "I hope you make an independent decision. The president of the court responded "I consider your statement unnecessary and I return it back to you".
"The press doesn't have to use a language which prioritizes the state"
Pointing out the decisions of the bodies of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Ataktürk noted;
"The press doesn't have to use a language which prioritizes the state. The press itself makes decisions based on its own terminology, interpretations and principles, and within the scope of rights and liberties determined at national and international level. When we take a look at the terminology used in the news and compare it with the other press organs in the world, we see similarities. All the respected media outlets in the rest of the world, regardless of which country, armed conflict or organization is addressed, have reported referred to the respective organizations with their own name and to the members of the organizations as "guerillas", just like Özgür Gündem did.
"Yet what public authorities feel uncomfortable about, is that terminologies such as YPG (People's Protection Units), and YPS (Civil Protection Units). Calling them "guerilla" and not "terrorist" is the terminology used by all media outlets in the rest of the world. This cannot be considered as promoting violence or propagandizing for a terrorist organization.
"Expecting a decision that shows that you can distinguish between criticism and propaganda"
"I hope that you take a different stance in this case and expect to see a decision which shows that exercising the right of freedom of expression and press widely is a priority, the judiciary in Turkey can pass judgements which comply with the standards of the ECtHR and that you can distinguish between harsh criticism and terrorism propaganda."
Ruling on Türker's case, the court has sentenced Türker to 1 year and 6 months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for an [illegal] organization", and decided to amend the sentence as 2 years and 3 months in prison on the ground that the crime was committed by means of media and finally reduce the sentence by 1 sixth to 1 year, 10 months and 15 days in prison.
The board of judges under the presidency of Fikret Demir deferred Türker's prison sentence.
Closed Özgür Gündem newspaper's Editor-in-Chief on Watch campaign was launched on May 3, 2016 and ended on August 7, 2016.
56 people joined the campaign.
50 of the attendees faced prosecution. Of the prosecuted, files of the 38 have been turned into cases.
50 investigations launched
50 people against whom lawsuit was filed are as follows:
Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Ayşe Düzkan, Erol Önderoğlu, Celalettin Can, Mustafa Sönmez, Melda Onur, Fehim Işık, Celal Başlangıç, Eşber Yağmurdereli, Ragıp Duran, Nurcan Baysal, Ömer Ağın, Ahmet Abakay, İhsan Çaralan, Işın Eliçin, Murat Çelikkan, Uğur Karataş, Öncü Akgül, Ayşe Batumlu, Sebahat Tuncel, Saruhan Oluç, Nadire Mater, Beyza Üstün, Mehmet Güç, Tuğrul Eryılmaz, Faruk Balıkçı, Şeyhmus Diken, Necmiye Alpay, Jülide Kural, Yıldırım Türker, Ahmet Nesin, Kemal Can, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Hasip Kaplan, Nevin Erdemir, Tuğrul Eryılmaz, Hakkı Boltan, Cengiz Baysoy, Kumru Başer, Veysi Altay, Hasan Hayri Şanlı, Hasan Cemal, Deniz Türkali, Dicle Anter, Çilem Küçükkeleş, Said Sefaoğlu, Aydın Engin, İhsan Eliaçık and İmam Canpolat.
The 38 editors-in-chief on watch, who are charged with "terror organization propaganda" under Anti-Terror Act (TMK) Article 7/2 and "releasing or publishing terror organizations' statements or declarations" under Article 6, are as follows:
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, M. Ali Çelebi, 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.
Cases brought against 3 writers
Legal action was taken against Ömer Ağın for an article published under the editorship of Celal Başlangıç, against İmam Canpolat for an article published under the editorship of Cengiz Baysoy and against İlham Bakır for an article published under the editorship of Jülide Kural.
Of the 36 Editors-in-Chief on Watch, Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Şebnem Korur Fincancı were arrested in June 2016 and released 10 days after it.
Şanar Yurdatapan, İbrahim Bodur, Cengiz Baysoy ve Çilem Küçükkeleş were fined 1.500 euro under Article 6/2 of the Anti-Terror Law and were sentenced to 15 years in prison (deferred).
İmam Canpolat standing trial together with Baysoy was sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison.
Nadire Mater was sentenced to 15 months in prison (deferred) and fined 6,000 TL (1,500 Euros).
Yıldırım Türker was sentenced to 1 year, 10 months and 15 days in prison (deferred).
Hasan Cemal was fined 6,000 TL (1,500 Euros).
Özgür Gündem Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya is a suspect in all 38 cases. Kızılkaya's case is being combined with the main trial.
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