Upon a criminal complaint filed by President Erdoğan, a lawsuit was brought against Cumhuriyet reporter Canan Coşkun on November 25, 2015, for the news story titled “Erdoğan Buyurdu, Gazetecilik Tutuklandı” (At Erdoğan’s Behest, Journalism Under Arrest) on charges of “Insulting the President.”
In the indictment that he completed on November 13, 2017, Prosecutor stated that “the news story includes Can Dündar’s statements that it is Erdoğan who should be tried, and the news story argues that the President handles the trial like a personal matter, claiming that he acts with personal enmity and hatred and issues unlawful instructions for the suspect’s arrest.”
The following explanation was given as to why the lawsuit was filed two years after the publication of the news story, against normal legal procedures:
“Although it has been observed that the four-month period stipulated for in Article 26 of the Press Law has expired for the printed version of the story, the same story is also published on the internet and can be accessed from the links in the file, so that the case is not subject to statute of limitations.”
At the first hearing, Coşkun’s lawyer stated that the Press Law should be applied unconditionally, and that the publication of the news whether on the newspaper or on the website is the responsibility of the managing editor, not the journalist. The lawyer requested that the lawsuit be dropped and Coşkun immediately acquitted.
The court reached a verdict at the second hearing on June 20, 2019. The court acquitted Coşkun since there was a breach of the aforementioned article of Press Law.