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The trial of Sözcü daily began yesterday (November 7).
Sözcü daily's owner Burak Akbay, the daily's İzmir reporter Bekir Gökmen Ulu, personnel in charge of Internet Mediha Olgun and chief financial officer Yonca Yücekaleli are standing trial before İstanbul 37th Assize Court.
Defendant Ulu is in detention pending trial, defendants Olgun and Yücekaleli were released pending trial on September 22, 2017. There is a detention warrant for defendant Akbay.
The defendants made their statement of defence in the first hearing. In the hearing that will continue today, the witnesses are expected to be heard and on the third day of the hearing, the court is expected to
Charges of conducting, aiding terrorist organization, terror propaganda
In the indictment prepared by the prosecutor of Cumhuriyet trial, Asım Ekren, Akbay is being charged with "conducting an armed terrorist organization", "propagandizing for an armed terrorist organization" and face up to 28 years in prison.
Defendants Olgun, Ulu and Yücekaleli are being charged with "knowingly aiding an armed terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure" and face up to 15 years in prison.
Observers of the trial
Republican People's Party (CHP) MPs Mustafa Balbay and Barış Yarkadaş, CHP former MP Umut Oran, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Chair Kani Beko, United Public Servants Unions Confederation Chair Hasan Kütük, Journalists' Association of Turkey (TGC) Chair Turgay Olcayto, Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS) Chair and executives, İstanbul Bar Association Chair Mehmet Durakoğlu, Turkish Jurist Women's Association Chair Attorney Süreyya Turan and Cumhuriyet Daily Internet Editor-in-Chief Oğuz Güven were at İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan to observe the hearing.
The MPs made a statement in front of the courthouse wearing aprons of Journalists' Union of Turkey.
An operation was launched into Sözcü daily newspaper on May 19, 2016. Detention warrant was issued for Burak Akbay, Mediha Olgun, Bekir Gökmen Ulu and Yonca Yücekaleli as part of the "Fethullahist Terror Organization/Parallel State Organization".
Olgun was released on probation on September 22.
Prepared by Public Prosecutor Asım Ekren, the 73-page indictment includes charge of "managing armed terror organization", "propagandizing for an armed terror organization", and "knowingly aiding an armed terrorist organization without being a part member of its hierarchical structure" against the Sözcü staff.
A crossword puzzle dated January 1, 2016 is included in the indictment as the reason for the investigation.
The aforementioned headline reads "Your fortune of 2016" and the deck reads "The three names you see in the view will be in your lives this year as well" and the image of "Recep", "Tayyip" and "Erdoğan" words are used more than once in the crossword puzzle.
The indictment says "...since the words "TAYYİPİÇ (TAYYİBASTARD), ÖLRECEP (DIERECEP), YEZIT (Yazîd)* were presented explicitly..."
News reports are counted as an offense
Prosecutor Ekren regarded the article titled "Sözcü found Erdoğan" by Gökmen Ulu dated July 15, 2016 as an "evidence" and claimed that "the article facilitates execution of the crime".
Prosecutor Ekren also evaluated that "Sözcü Newspaper officials reached the information in question externally and continuously published the information as it is real".
Among the witnesses in the indictment are Ersoy Dede, Cem Küçük, Fehmi Koru and Hüseyin Gülerce.
* Yazīd ibn Mu'āwiya commonly known as Yazid I, was the second caliph of the Umayyad caliphate and killed Hussein-ibn-Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, over a fight for caliphate.
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