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Journalist and columnist Hasan Cemal, who joined closed Özgür Gündem newspaper's Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign, appeared before judge today (March 7) following Nadire Mater and Yıldırım Türker.
Standing trial before the İstanbul 22nd Heavy Penal Court Cemal was fined 6,000 TL (1,500 Euros) on charge of "publishing statement of an [illegal] organization".
Cemal: "Turkish journalists can't be free before Kurdish journalists become free"
Cemal in his plea said:
"I am here to defend the free and independent media and to stand up to say that journalism is not a crime. In this sense, I am here to defend also the freedom of Kurdish journalists and while I do that, I have to emphasize that in an environment in which Kurdish journalists are not free, Turkish journalists can neither be free.
"I am 73 years old and have been practising journalism for 47 years. I have spent many years by observing the Kurdish issue. I believe that handling the Kurdish issue in peace and free from guns and violence is a huge step for the rule of democracy, peace and law in Turkey. That's why I worked as an Editor-in-Chief on Watch in the campaign, to act in solidarity with my Kurdish colleagues".
"Article 11 contradicts with the 'individuality of criminal responsibility'"
Cemal's attorney Fikret İlkiz submitted a petition of objection arguing that the article 11 of the Press Law conflicted with the constitutional principle of "individuality of criminal responsibility" and was thus unconstitutional.
The board of judges under the presidency of Fikret Demir overruled the plea of unconstitutionality.
Punishment of fine
The board of judges acquitted Cemal of the crime of "propagandising for an [illegal] organization" under Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Act. Cemal was convicted of "publishing statement of an [illegal] organization" under 6/2 of the Anti-Terror Act and was fined 6,000 TL (1,500 Euros).
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.
ÖZGÜR GÜNDEM TRIALS Jail Term for Özgür Gündem Editor-in-Chief on Watch Türker 07 March 2017Journalist and columnist Yıldırım Türker, who joined closed Özgür Gündem newspaper’s Editors-in-Chief on ...
ÖZGÜR GÜNDEM TRIALS Jail Term, Fine for Özgür Gündem Editor-in-Chief on Watch Mater 07 March 2017Journalist Nadire Mater has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined ...
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