Işıl Özgentürk - “Propaganda of Terrorist Organization Through Media” Trial

Following the report made with a complaint letter to the Sakarya Police Precinct, an investigation was launched against writer Işıl Özgentürk.

Within the scope of the investigation, Özgentürk’s social media accounts were inspected by Sakarya Cyber-Crimes Unite officers. The report, prepared after the inspection was sent to the prosecutors office. The report gave details of 2 social media publications Özgentürk made at September and April 2015.

The indictment against writer Işıl Özgentürk was prepared, at July 11th, 2019.

The indictment included the 2 different social media posts, that she was accused. One of the publications was made from her Twitter account, the other one was made from her Instagram account. Thus, for the first time, a journalist was accused of an instagram post.

The indictment accused Özgentürk’s instagram post as follows:

“It was revealed that she had published the photo of one of the alleged leaders of PKK/KCK Saline Cansız (aka Sara) who was killed in Paris, France at 09/01/2013 and Gülnaz Karataş (aka Beritan) who was killed in 1992 while still in the organisation, with the comment of ‘March 8th, Rojova border’ at April 4th, 2015 under the wire cloths.”

The indictment accused Özgentürk’s twitter post, shared at September 5th, 2016, as follows:

“It was written ‘here’s a barricade for you, from Silivan, it started this innocently but now there is no way back from this road’ on top of a picture of a several objects put on top of each other on a road made of fruit boxes.”

Posts were claimed to “have aimed to create sympathy towards to organisation among people, create feelings that will provide closeness to the actions of the organisation and remove the hostility against the organisation.” She was accused of “acting to flatter and promote the organisation”.

Özgentürk was accused of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through press”, regulated by the article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. She was requested to be sentenced for from 1.5 years to 7.5 years of imprisonment.

Writer Işıl Özgentürk’s trial, started with the first hearing at December 5th, 2019 that took place in Istanbul 28th Assize Court.

Prosecutor’s office presented the opinion as to the accusations at the first hearing. Claimed that Özgentürk had committed the crime of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through media” with 2 social media posts she shared at September 6th, 2015 and April 4th, 2015. Requested Özgentürk to be punished.

Second hearing of the case was held at March 5th, 2020.

Işıl Özgentürk’s defence was as follows:

“After what to prosecutor said about me, I said ‘I wish I was not a journalist so I could, not care about my country’s problems’. I am a patriot. I was offended to be related with the terrorist organisation. I am 73 years old and for 50 years I have been a journalist, directed plays. I could have left the country after September 12th, if I wanted. But I did not want to, I can not live in a different country. How can I support PKK. I am pacifist, patriotic, and against child marriages. You can sentence me for these things, but not for supporting PKK.”

Prosecutor of the hearing, repeated his opinion as to the accusations.

The court ruled for Özgentürk’s acquittal.



Işıl Özgentürk

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