Third hearing of July 15 coup attempt media trial with 17 defendants including Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak is being held at İstanbul 26th Heavy Penal Court in Çağlayan today (November 13).
Among the observers of the trial are Reporters Without Borders (RSF) President Pierre Haski, RSF Representative to Turkey Erol Önderoğlu, Georgia Nash from Article 19, PEN International Advocacy Director Sarah Clarke, Eugene Schoulgin from the PEN, Amnesty International and diplomats from Switzerland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic and Norway.
The court committee cleared everyone out of the courtroom
Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, who have been in detention on remand for 417 days, attend the hearing from Silivri Prison via Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS).
The other defendants stand present in the hearing.
Chief Judge Kemal Selçuk Yalçın stopped lawyer Ergin Cinmen, who wanted to speak before the dictum is presented and got him out of the courtroom forcibly in the hearing that started at 10:30 a.m. Clearing everyone out following this incident, the court committee used a break.
Chief Judge Yalçın prevented lawyer Yasemin Çalıkuşu from speaking this time as the hearing resumed at 11:15 a.m. have her gotten out of the courtoom. Çalıkuşu demanded recusation. The hearing will continue without Cinmen and Çalıkuşu.
Cinmen: Intolerance towards the defense
Speaking to bianet, Cinmen stated that they wanted to make a statement of defense, the committee didn’t allow it and they were kicked out of the courtroom when they insisted on it and said, “This incident displays the intolerance towards the defense. We’ve been taken out of the courtroom for attempting to exercise the right of defense”. Cinmen added that other defense lawyers demanded recusation as well.
One of Mehmet Altan and Ahmet Altan’s lawyers Ferat Çağıl, who wanted to take the floor was gotten out of the courtroom as well at 11:40 a.m.
At 12:02 p.m., Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan's last lawyer Melike Polat demanded recusation as well. The Chief Judge kicked Polat out of the courtroom as well. With this, no attorney is left in the courtroom to represent Mehmet Altan and Ahmet Altan.
Ilıcak: I cannot accept it
Demanding that more right of defense be provided to them, Ilıcak said:
“I have anti-coup tweets. I cannot accept it. You cannot explain to anyone that Nazlı Ilıcak is a coup plotter. I believe the ECtHR (European court of Human Rights) will rule violation. I don’t want Turkey to face another verdict of violation”.
Ilıcak demanded her release.
Şimşek making his statement of defense at 2:45 p.m. pleaded innocent and demanded his release. Yazıcı who is in detention on remand said, “I am in no way a FETÖ member. I condemn the coup attempt that stole 15 months of my life. I am not guilty. I demand my release considering my detention of 15 months”.
Mehmet Altan: I demand my release myself because I don't have my lawyers
At 2:50 p.m., Mehmet Altan made his statement of defense. Altan said:
“First, I’d like to show you a book of mine which I cannot take outside of the prison. Its name is “Economy of the Coups”. This book is unique in Turkey. I wrote it by talking to politicians to prevent the coups.
“Has the new prosecutor read out indictment? If not, how can he demand continuation of the arrest? Is there a crime called ‘subliminal message’ in law? I have been kept in detention for 429 days without being shown any concrete evidence. Just show me some evidence for god’s sake. I await your decision of recusation but I demand my release myself because I don’t have my lawyers”.
Ahmet Altan said, “The UN in its ECtHR report said ‘this trial is a theater’. As I listened to the prosecutor’s replies just now, I’ve realized that I’m an actor in this theater. How can a prosecutor who doesn’t have any grasp on the file rehearse like this? There can’t be such law, there can’t be such court. There are all I’ve got to say”.
Continuation of arrest
Declaring its interim decision at 4:45 p.m., the court ruled continuation of arrest. The court accepted the request by by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) of being a third party to the trial, and refused the same demand by Serdar Öztürk, Dursun Çiçek and Hasan Ataman Yıldırım.
Claiming that the recuation demand intends to prolong the trial, the court rejected the demand of recusation
The hearing will resume on December 11.
17 defendants six of whom are in detention on remand
An indictment has been drafted for the author Ahmet Altan, his brother Prof. Dr. Mehmet Altan, journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, then Editor-in-Chief of the closed Zaman daily newspaper Ekrem Dumanlı, former Taraf columnist Emre Uslu, journalist Tuncay Opçin, Samanyolu TV Representative to Washington Şemseddin Efe, former Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Zaman newspaper Bülent Keneş, Prof. Dr. Osman Özsoy, Zaman daily correspondent to Israel Abdulkerim Balcı, its vice editor-in-chief Mehmet Kamış and executive Faruk Kardıç, its visual director Fevzi Yazıcı, Police Academy academic member Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, Zaman daily brand manager Yakup Şimşek and Ali Çolak working at newspaper’s culture and art section Tibet Murat Sanlıman who is the owner of the advertising agency which allegedly evoked coup and was released on October 10, 2015 are standing trial.
Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek, Mehmet Altan, Ahmet Altan, Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül and Fevzi Yazıcı are pending trial jailed.
There are detention warrants for Abdulkerim Balcı, Ali Çolak, Bülent Keneş, Ekrem Dumanlı, Emrullah Uslu (Emre Uslu), Faruk Kardıç, Mehmet Kamış, Osman Özsoy, Şemseddin Efe and Tuncay Opçin.
Erdoğan is plaintiff
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the 65th Government are mentioned as plaintiffs in the indictment on the grounds that they had been offended by the crime.
Sentences that the defendants face
Ahmet and Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
Three aggravated life sentences was demanded for Mehmet Altan, Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak on charges of “Attempting to abolish the Grand National Assembly of Turkey or to prevent the parliament from performing its duties”, ““Attempting to abolish government of Turkey or to prevent it from performing its duties”, and “Attempting to abolish the Constitutional order”.
Furthermore, these three figures face jail term from 7.5 to 15 years in prison on charge of “Committing crime on behalf of an armed terror organization though not being a member of it” for “committing crime on behalf of the FETÖ”.
Dumanlı, Uslu and Opçin...
Three aggravated life sentences was demanded for closed Zaman daily former editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı, former Taraf daily columnist Emre Uslu and journalist Tuncay Opçin on charge of “coup attempt”.
Besides, from 15 to 22.5 years in prison was demanded for the three figures on charge of “Being manager of an armed terror organization”, and Uslu also faces up to 3 years in prison for “inciting people to hate and animosity”.
Samanyolu, Zaman and Today's Zaman managers and workers...
Three aggravated life sentences was demanded for Samanyolu TV’s runaway representative to Washington Şemseddin Efe, Today’s Zaman daily former editor-in-chief runaway suspect Bülent Keneş, Professor Osman Özsoy, Zaman daily Israel correspondent runaway suspect Abdulkerim Balcı, vice editor-in-chief runaway Mehmet Kamış and manager Faruk Kardıç, the daily’s visual director Fevzi Yazıcı, Police Academy academic member Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, Zaman daily brand director Yakup Şimşek, daily’s culture and art section writer Ali Çolak on charge of “coup attempt”. (EA/TK)
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