Expression Interrupted

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.

Constitutional Court’s Altan, Alpay decisions published in Official Gazette

Constitutional Court’s Altan, Alpay decisions published in Official Gazette

Lawyers immediately file for the release of both journalists following the publication of the top court’s January 11 judgments in Official Gazette


The reasoned judgments of the Constitutional Court concerning the individual applications by imprisoned journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan were published on January 19 in the Official Gazette.

Lawyers representing Altan and Alpay immediately lodged petitions to the courts of first instance where the journalists are on trial, the 26th and 13th High Criminal Courts of Istanbul, filing yet another appeal for their release.

The latest development could potentially pave the way for the release of Altan and Alpay, both of whom have been in pretrial detention for more than a year on “coup” charges.

Altan and Alpay had been ordered to stay behind bars despite judgments on January 11 rendered by the Constitutional Court which held that the rights of Alpay and Altan, and Cumhuriyet’s Turhan Günay, who was released in late July after spending months in prison, were violated as a result of their pre-trial detention.

The 13th High Criminal Court, which oversees the trial of 73-year-old Alpay, and the 26th High Criminal Court, where Altan is on trial for “attempting to overthrow the government,” both ruled that the detentions would be reviewed after the top court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated.

Lawyers representing Alpay and Altan on January 12 appealed those rulings, which were both rejected. Both courts also referred the cases to the next courts of instance authorized to review the decisions, which also ruled on January 15 that the trial courts’ continuation of detention orders were lawful.

On January 17, lawyers representing Altan filed a complaint to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) against judges on the panels of the 26th and 27th High Criminal Courts who refused to implement the Constitutional Court judgment.