Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.
Ahmet Kanbal appears in first hearing of “propaganda” case
Prosecutor submits his final opinion of the case, requesting that the journalist be convicted of “successively disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization”
Mezopotamya news agency (MA) reporter Ahmet Kanbal on 20 November appeared before an Izmir court for the first hearing of his trial on “propaganda” charge for his social media posts.
P24 monitored the hearing at the 2nd High Criminal Court of Izmir. Kanbal addressed the court from the Mardin Courthouse via the courtroom video-conferencing system SEGBİS and gave his defense statement.
Kanbal explained in his defense statement that the Tweets for which he is accused were aimed at journalism and not propaganda. He continued: “Currently, social media is an effective journalism tool. I use it for our news stories to reach a bigger audience in a country where newspapers are shut down [by the government].” The journalist requested his acquittal.
Following the defense statements by Kanbal and his lawyers, the prosecution went on to submit their final opinion of the case, claiming that Kanbal “attempted, through the press, to demean the Turkish military’s operations” and requesting that the journalist be convicted of “successively disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
Announcing its interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court adjourned the trial until 26 February 2019 for Kanbal to prepare his final defense statement in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion.