First session in Cumhuriyet case, where executives and columnists are on trial, starts July 24. Two more rights defenders arrested.

 

The first hearing in the Cumhuriyet case, where 18 former and current executives, columnists and employees of the newspaper — 11 of whom are in prison — are on trial, will be heard on July 24 at the Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court. The first session in the trial is expected to last the entire week.

Among those listed as defendants in the indictment are journalist Can Dündar, Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and columnist Kadri Gürsel. A total of 19 individuals are on trial being charged for terror-related crimes as well as the accusation that they abused their power in office as Cumhuriyet Foundation’s executives.

A large number of domestic and foreign participants are expected to monitor the trial. Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS) has made a call to supporters to meet in front of the Cumhuriyet building at 8:30 a.m, and then to march towards the Çağlayan Courthouse, where they will hold a press statement. .

The following accusations and charges are directed to the defendants in the indictment:

Can Dündar (former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, currently resides abroad): Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” [Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 314/2]

Akın Atalay (Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive President; imprisoned since Nov. 12, 2016) : Between 11.5 to 43 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and four counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2)

Orhan Erinç (Cumhuriyet Foundation Board President, columnist): Between 11.5 to 43 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and four counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Bülent Utku (Cumhuriyet Foundation Board Member, attorney representing Cumhuriyet; imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016): Between 9.5 to 29 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and two counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Murat Sabuncu (editor-in-chief, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016) Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” [Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 314/2]

Kadri Gürsel (publications advisor, columnist, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016) : Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” [Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 314/2]

Güray Öz (board member, news ombudsman, columnist, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016) : Between 8.5 to 22 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and a single count of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Önder Çelik (board member, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016): Between 11.5 to 43 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and four counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Turhan Günay (editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet’s book supplement, former member of the Cumhuriyet Foundation Board, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016): Between 8.5 to 22 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and a single count of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Musa Kart (Cartoonist, board member, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016):  Between 9.5 to 29 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and two counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Hakan Karasinir (board member, imprisoned since Nov. 5): Between 9.5 to 29 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and two counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Mustafa Kemal Güngör (attorney, board member, imprisoned since Nov. 5, 2016): Between 9.5 to 29 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and two counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Aydın Engin (columnist, released under judicial control measures): Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2).

Hikmet Çetinkaya (columnist, board member, released under judicial control medals): Between 9.5 to 29 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2) and two counts of “abuse of power in office” (TCK Article 155/2).

Ahmet Şık (Correspondent, imprisoned since Dec. 30, 2016): Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2).

Bülent Yener (Finance Manager): Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2).

Günseli Özaltay (Accounting Manager): Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2).

İlhan Tanır (former Washington correspondent, resides abroad): Between 7.5 to 15 years in prison for “helping a terrorist organization while not being a member” (TCK Article 314/2).

Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu (teacher, imprisoned since Nov. 22, 2016): Between 15 to 22.5 years in prison for “executive leadership of an armed terror organization” (TCK 314/1).

Two more human rights defendants arrested

On July 22, two human rights activists who were taken into custody along with eight others on Büyükada island off Istanbul on July 5 and who were released under judicial control measures were re-arrested.

Nalan Erkem from the Helsinki Citizens’ Association and İlknur Üstün from the Women’s Coalition were detained on July 22 less than a week after their release under judicial control and they were placed under formal arrest by a court order later in the evening on the same day.

Activists including the director of Amnesty International Turkey İdil Eser were taken into custody on July 5. Four were released under judicial control measures and the others were arrested on terror charges on July 18, after two weeks in detention.

However, on July 21, a court issued a new arrest warrant for Üstün, Erkem, Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Association) and Şeyhmus Özbekli (Rights Initiative).

İHA reporters assaulted by police officers

On July 22, two İhlas News Agency (İHA) reporters covering a fatal traffic accident were reportedly attacked by police officers on the scene.

The reporters said two police officers died on the scene of the accident. Other police officers, who were upset by the death of their colleagues asked not to take any pictures and physically assaulted the two reporters, according to the journalists’ own account.

The reporters, İsmail Bulut and Emrah Kuş, said they were attacked and beaten with handcuffs by the police officers although they had complied with their request not to take any pictures.

 

For a full list of journalists imprisoned in Turkey; media outlets and associations shut down under State of Emergency, click here.