An investigation was launched on June 8, 2018, against the owner and editor-in-chief of the online news web site Çağdaş Ses, Ece Sevim Öztürk, due to her social media posts and comments about the coup attempt of July 15. She was investigated for links to the FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization). A detention order was issued on the same day and she was taken into custody on June 14 with a house raid.
Ece Sevim Öztürk was taken to the public prosecutor’s office on June 20. After her testimony, she was sent to the Istanbul Criminal Court of Peace on watch. Following her testimony in court, she was arrested on charges of “knowingly and willingly aiding an armed terrorist organization” and “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.” She was placed in Bakırköy Women’s Prison.
The indictment against her was drafted by Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office on August 6. Istanbul 37th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment on August 28.
In his indictment, prosecutor presented Öztürk’s documentary on the July 15 coup attempt titled “Deniz Kuvvetlerinin En Karanlık Günü: 15 Temmuz” (“The Darkest Day of the Navy: July 15”) among the evidence.
The prosecutor requested her to be sentenced for her documentary and her social media posts, arguing that “she contributes to FETÖ’s attempts to cast a shadow on the legitimacy of the general elections of June 24, create social turmoil, revive the organization, and free its leaders and members from prison.”
The first hearing was scheduled to November 1, 2018.
Delivering her defense in the first hearing of the trial, Öztürk stated that the indictment presented her Tweets in question as “an attempt to aid the organization without being a member” with a view towards “creating chaos before the June 24 elections.” Öztürk argued that this was a forced argument. In its interim ruling, the court ordered that her detention should continue since her posts seemed to contribute to “FETÖ’s social media campaigns to portray July 15 as a controlled coup, imaginary coup or staged coup; there is a strong possibility of criminal activity and simple judicial control would be insufficient.”