“Berkin Elvan News” Trial

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation against the news made in Cumhuriyet and BirGün, about the ongoing investigation of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan’s murder during Gezi Park Protests in 2013.

Both of the subject matter articles were published at March 11th, 2016, at Cumhuriyet Daily with the title “The police officer accused of shooting Berkin Elvan could not remember his place of duty” and at BirGün Daily with the title “Confidentiality order of Berkin investigation caused not to disrepute the murderer”.

Cumhuriyet’s article was written by Canan Coşkun and Ali Açar whereas the BirGün article was written by Can Uğur.

Berkin Elvan was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by the police during the Gezi Park Protests in 2013 and had lost his life after 267 days of treatment. The trial of 15-year-old Elvin’s death is still ongoing.

The indictment against Can Uğur, Canan Coşkun and Ali Açar was prepared by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on November 21, 2019.

Prosecutor, argued that the article on Cumhuriyet Daily about the death of Elvan had the name of the officer written as “E…Y.” and the officer was identifiable from the photo.

Prosecutor, claimed that “Berkin Elvan’s death was exploited by some terrorist organisations” and the aforementioned articles “had put the suspect officer on target for left organisations”.

The indictment accused journalists of “identifying officials that were on anti-terror duties as targets”, regulated by the article 6/1 of the Anti-Terror Law. They are facing from 1 to 3 years of imprisonment. They were also requested to be bereaved of specific rights according to the article 53 Turkish Penal Code.

The trial of journalists Canan Coşkun, Ali Açar and Can Uğur was to start with the first hearing on April 9, 2020, at Istanbul 34th Assize Court. However the hearing was postponed to September 17, 2020 due to the measures taken against the “coronavirus” outbreak in Turkey.

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