Hayko Bağdat - "Propaganda of Terrorist Organization in Successive Intervals Through Media" Trial

A person who hid his identity, made a denunciation to Prime Ministry’s Communication Center (BİMER) against journalist Hayko Bağdat for his social media posts.

Prime Ministry’s Communication Center (BİMER) is a public relations application realised by using the information and communication technologies. It is a webpage where citizens voice their requests, denunciations and complaints directly to the relevant authorities while executing their rights within the scope of Law on the Right to Be Informed and Law on Right of Petition.

BİMER was cancelled due to the Governmental System Change brought by the Constitutional Amendment in 2017. With that amendment, parliamentary system was replaced by “Presidential System” called “Presidential Government System” by the government. The amendment was put in motion in June 2018. BİMER was replaced by Presidency’s Communication Center (CİMER).

Due too the denunciation, Press Related Crimes Bureau of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation against Bağdat.

Within the scope of the investigation, Bağdat who lived abroad was not able to give a statement. Therewith prosecutor’s office requested Istanbul Criminal Court of Peace to issue a capture warrant against Bağdat. Due to the request, Istanbul 11th Criminal Court of Peace issued a capture warrant against Bağdat on February 20, 2019.

The indictment against Bağdat was completed on August 16, 2019.

The indictment stated that the investigation against Bağdat was launched due to the anonymous denunciation made to BİMER. 9 social media posts were shown as the evidence in the indictment against Bağdat. Posts dated May 2017, July 2017 and June 2018 were stated as follows

  • Retweet of the post from Ahmet Turan Alkan’s twitter page including the words “Ahmet Turan Alkan has been detained for 678 days, detainee who initially weighed 86 kilos now weighs 65-70” over the image that read “Ahmet Turan Alkan detained for 678 days”.

  • Retweet of the post with the text “Co-President of KCK’s Executive Council Cemil Bayık talked to our tv channel today at 18:00 European Time” over the video with Cemil Bayık.

  • Retweet of the photo of Osman Kavala who was taken into custody and arrested within the scope of the investigation of the July 15th Attempted Coup.

  • Publication that read “Hüseyin Gülerce talks more than necessary. Betrayers are not well liked. No matter were they go. Just like the forrest wardens.”

  • Post that contains “the photos of the terrorist organisation members Ibrahim Kaypakkaya and Mahir Çayan”.

Posts were claimed to be “made in order to introduce, adopt or share a thought, opinion and belief of an armed terrorist organisation an they were made in a manner to legitimise, promote and encourage the, armed terrorist organisation’s acts of force, violence and menace”.

The indictment accused Bağdat of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation” according to the article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. He was requested to be sentenced to, from one to five years of imprisonment. The indictment claimed that the “crime was committed through press”. Therefor the requested sentence was requested to be increased by a half according to the second paragraph of the article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. It was claimed that the “crime of making propaganda for a terrorist organisation” was “committed in a successive manner”. On that ground, already requested to be increased sentence was requested to be increased by from a quarter to three quarters, according to the article 43 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Bağdat, in total, was requested to be sentenced to, from one year 10 months 15 days to 13 years one month 15 days of imprisonment for “making propaganda for an armed terrorist organisation through media in a successive manner”.

Bağdat’s trial started at Istanbul 28th Assize Court.

Trial is set to continue with the hearing on November 12, 2020. The lawyers of the journalist Hayko Bağdat did not attend the hearing, presenting an excuse.

The court adjourned the trial until March 4th, 2021.

Documents

Indictment

Journalists
Hayko Bağdat

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