All A B C Ç D E F G H I İ J K L M N O Ö P R S Ş T U Ü V Y Z
Fatih Polat - Trial for Insulting the President of the Republic

On May 26, 2017, on the web site theblacksea.eu, journalist Craig Shaw published a news article titled “President Erdoğan’s family in secret offshore ship deal” where he stated, “Through offshore companies in the Isle of Man and Malta, the Erdoğans secretly own an oil tanker worth nearly 25 million USD called the Agdash.”

On November 28, 2017, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, at the weekly parliamentary group meeting of his party, disclosed the swift codes and transfer receipts for 15 million dollars allegedly wired by Erdoğan’s son, brother-in-law, father-in-law of his daughter, and executive assistant to the Isle of Man. Craig Shaw’s news story was based on these documents.

Shaw wrote in his article that the Malta Files, concerning the international money transfers by politicians and business people in different countries of the world, included information about Erdoğan family’s companies in the Isle of Man and Malta as well. Malta Files was a project by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) journalism network established by media outlets such as TheBlackSea.eu, Der Spiegel, Le Soir, Mediapart, NRC, El Mundo, Dagens Nyheter, Expresso, L’Espresso, Falter and Politiken, and had been published on May 2017.

On May 28, 2017, Fatih Polat published Shaw’s article in his column on the website of Evrensel newspaper, under the title “What does the Erdoğan family say about these claims?”

Fatih Polat stands trial on charges of “publicly insulting the President” following the completion of an indictment by prosecutor Aykut Çelik on October 24, 2018.

The third hearing of the case will be held on November 14, 2019 at 9.30 a.m.

Fatih Polat - Cumhurbaşkanına Hakaret Davası (İddianame)

Fatih Polat - Cumhurbaşkanına Hakaret Davası (Savunma)

Fatih Polat - Trial for Phone Call Between Gökçek and Kuzu

Fatih Polat is standing trial for a news story dated February 22, 2010 published by Evrensel newspaper, where he was editor-in-chief, concerning a phone call between the then-Ankara mayor, Melih Gökçek and the then-President of Parliamentary Commission for the Constitution, Burhan Kuzu.

In this phone call, Melih Gökçek asks for help from Burhan Kuzu about a judicial sentence that he faces. The conversation, as reported in the press and social media, reveals that Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had launched an investigation against Gökçek in June 2009 on grounds of “misuse of public duty”, since he did not implement the court order concerning the buildings around the US Embassy. Over the phone, Gökçek indicates that he stands trial for Turkish Penal Code, Article 240. He actually means the Article 257 in the new Turkish Penal Code no. 765 as amended in 2005. The article reads, “Excluding any situation defined elsewhere as a separate offence in law, any public officer who misuses their duty shall be sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment for a term of one to three years.” Gökçek asks Kuzu to amend the law and reduce the term to 6 months.

Gökçek is a complainant in the lawsuit against Polat.

In his indictment completed on April 6, 2010, Chief Public Prosecutor Hasan Ülgünar pressed charges against Polat for “Public Violation of Confidentiality of Communication Between Persons”, as per Turkish Penal Code, Article 132, 2-4.

Due to the amnesty for press crimes granted on July 5, 2012, the prosecution of Polat had been suspended. However, the prosecution resumed on the pretext that he committed another offense in the following three years.

Fatih Polat - Gökçek ile Kuzu Görüşmesi Haberi Davası (İddianame)

Ferhat Parlak - Silvan Mücadele Newspaper Trial

The publisher and correspondent of the Silvan Mücadele newspaper, Ferhat Parlak was taken into custody after a police raid to his home in Diyarbakır’s Silvan district on April 11, 2018. After three days in custody, he was referred to the prosecutor’s office.

Following the procedures at the prosecutor’s office, three individuals in custody were sent to the criminal court of peace with a request of judicial control, and Parlak and Ercan Aşıcı with a request of arrest.

The court ruled in line with the requests of the prosecutor’s office, and ordered the arrest of Parlak and Aşıcı on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization” and released the other three individuals on condition of judicial control.

Parlak, placed in Diyarbakır D-Type Closed Prison, stated that he was arrested for his journalistic activities: “Journalism is being criminalized in our region. I do not accept the accusations. I am in high spirits despite everything.” The indictment against Parlak was subsequently completed and the first hearing was scheduled for July 8, 2019. Parlak appeared before the judge 450 days after his detention, and the indictment against him was based on the charges in another case, of which Parlak had been acquitted previously. The indictment cited among the evidence CDs, DVDs, flash memory, hard disk, mobile phone, books, magazines and some newspapers, which had been seized by the Silvan Public Prosecutor’s Office within the scope of a separate investigation, but then returned to Parlak, after the court reached a decision of non-prosecution.

Another item presented as evidence against Parlak is an interview he conducted with Murat Karayılan during a press tour to Kandil mountain during the so-called “peace process”, together with other journalists including a reporter of the Anadolu Agency. The indictment also includes the Contents page of Parlak’s book “Şehitler Şehri Silvan” (Silvan: The City of Martyrs), which discusses the unsolved murders of the 1990s, and the biographies of those murdered. In his statement, Parlak indicated that “No investigation was launched against the book and it was not banned. It is a legally published book, available in the library of the Turkish Grand National Assembly as well. They are trying to prosecute not the perpetrators of the unsolved murders, but those who write about them.”

It is claimed in a testimony by a secret witness that Parlak threw a petrol bomb at an armored police car. Parlak asks this claim to be investigated, through an examination of the footage in the said vehicle’s camera, footage from MOBESE security cameras in the vicinity, and any fingerprints taken after the said assault.

The indictment mentions various names, who were allegedly recruited to the terrorist organization by Ferhat Parlak. However, in his testimony, Parlak describes where these people live and their professions. These individuals actually exist but they have no ties to the said organization. Parlak requests that these people, whom he is unacquainted with, come and testify at the court.

The indictment claims that Parlak shot footage for the terrorist organization and shared these in his newspaper and social media accounts for propaganda purposes. Parlak, however, claims that he is simply a journalist. He proves that numerous other journalists were active during the armed clashes in Silvan and that mainstream newspapers published images similar to his as well. The prosecutor requested that Parlak stand trial on charges of “membership of an armed organization” pursuant to Law no. 5237 Article 314/2, Law no. 3713 Article 5, Law no. 5237 Articles 53, 58/9, 63. The trial took place at Diyarbakır 11. High Criminal Court and Parlak was released at the first hearing on July 8, 2019. The trial was adjourned until November 6, 2019.

Ferhat Parlak - Silvan Mücadele Davası (İddianame)

FETÖ Media Main Trial

After the coup attempt of July 15, numerous operations were launched against the media, and one such operation targeted Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak.

Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan were detained on July 10, 2016. The accusation was to pass “subliminal messages” about the coup attempt on a television show on the evening of July 14, the day before the coup attempt on July 15th. Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan had discussed the latest news together with Nazlı Ilıcak in a program on Can Erzincan TV. As such, the concept of “subliminal message”, which would later be described as “knowing the coup beforehand” went down in Turkish legal and political history.

Ahmet Altan, his brother Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak stood trial along with 17 other people. Nine of them were journalists. However, many of the names included in the investigation and trial, such as the Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı of the shuttered Zaman newspaper, were never tried since they had gone abroad.

In the indictment, the charges against them was not limited to “giving subliminal messages about the coup attempt”. Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak, as well as Abdülkerim Balcı, Ali Çolak, Bülent Keneş, Mehmet Kamış and Şemsettin Efe were charged of numerous offenses. It was claimed that the journalists “attempted to overthrow the Parliament and Government or to prevent them from performing their duties”, “attempted to overthrow the constitutional order”, and the prosecutor requested three counts of aggravated life sentence for each of them. The prosecutor requested an additional 7 and a half to 15 years of imprisonment for the journalists for “committing crimes on behalf of an armed terrorist organization, without being a member.”

The trial began with the first hearing on July 19, 2016.

At the second hearing in September 2016, Ahmet Altan stated that he would waive his right to appeal even if a single piece of evidence was to be submitted against him.

At the fourth hearing of the case on December 11, 2016, the prosecutor’s office declared its opinion as to the accusations, where it had changed the accusations against the journalists. The journalists were now only charged with “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”. As such, the imprisonment requested for the journalists was reduced from three counts of aggravated life sentence to “aggravated life sentence”. On the other hand, the prosecution also retracted the charge that Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak were “members of an armed terrorist organization.”

At the end of the trial which started on February 12, 2018 and lasted for 5 days, the verdict about the journalists was announced. Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak were sentenced to aggravated life sentences. Journalists were charged with “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”. The court ordered that the files of the defendants abroad be separated from the main case.

The Constitutional Court and European Court of Human Rights Proceedings

Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan applied to the Constitutional Court on November 8, 2016. When this effort at first yielded no result, they also applied to the European Court of Human Rights. European Court of Human Rights asked the defense of the government of Turkey about the applications.

On January 11, 2018, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mehmet Altan’s rights had been violated. However, the Istanbul 26. High Criminal Court did not comply with the Constitutional Court’s decision and did not order the release of Mehmet Altan. This was probably a first in Turkish judicial history.

The court resisted the verdict of the Constitutional Court, and sentenced Mehmet Altan to aggravated lifelong imprisonment. Mehmet Altan, Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak were charged with “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”.

Istanbul 26. High Criminal Court’s resistance against the Constitutional Court’s verdict of rights violation and release of the defendant continued for a long time. Mehmet Altan could be released only with a ruling of the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice, 2. Criminal Chamber which was in charge of the appeal proceedings, before the said proceedings began.

Nazlı Ilıcak also filed an individual application with the Constitutional Court in the process. However, her application about the violation of her rights was rejected.

The ECHR later ruled that the rights of both Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan had been violated.

The Appeal Proceedings

The verdict was taken to the court of appeal. Istanbul Regional Court of Justice, 2. Criminal Chamber, which was in charge of the appeal proceedings, ruled that Mehmet Altan be released before the trial began. In this verdict, the court made reference to the Constitutional Court’s decision which the local court had not applied.

The first hearing of the appeal proceedings began on September 21, 2018. At the second hearing on October 2, 2018, the court of appeal upheld the aggravated life sentence handed down by the local court.

Court of Cassation Proceedings

The file was taken to the Court of Cassation for appeal.

On January 8, 2019, Court of Cassation Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office sent its notification to the 16. Criminal Chamber of Court of Cassation. The Chief Public Prosecutor requested that the aggravated life sentences for Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak be overturned. According to the notification, Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak had to stand trial not for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”, but for “knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization without being a part of the hierarchical structure within the organization”. This represented a possible reduction of the prison sentences handed down to Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak. However, the local court had retracted the accusation that the journalists were “members of an armed terrorist organization”.

Court of Cassation’s 16. Criminal Chamber overturned the verdict about Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak. Court of Cassation ruled that Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak should be tried for not “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”, but for “aiding the armed terrorist organization FETÖ / PDY without being part of its hierarchical structure”, in accordance with the request of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The chamber ruled for the acquittal of Mehmet Altan.

With this verdict of the Court of Cassation, the retrial process began. The file was referred back to the Istanbul 26. High Criminal Court, which had functioned as the first-instance court. This is the very court which had charged the journalists with 3 counts of aggravated life sentence and up to 15 years in prison, and had resisted the Constitutional Court’s verdict of release for Mehmet Altan.

Ahmet Altan has been prisoned pending trial since September 23, 2016 and Nazlı Ilıcak since July 29, 2016.

Retrial

Following the decision of the Court of Cassation to overturn the verdict, the retrial began on October 8, 2019. At the hearing, Mehmet Altan’s ban on leaving the country was lifted. Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak’s requests for release were rejected.

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İddianame)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Karar)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Gerekçeli Karar)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Anayasa Mahkemesi Kararı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Anayasa Mahkemesi Kararı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Anayasa Mahkemesi Kararı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (AİHM Kararı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Esas Hakkında Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Esas Hakkında Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İlk Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İstinaf Mahkemesi İlk Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Karar Duruşma Tutanağı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Karar Duruşma Tutanağı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İstinaf Mahkemesi Karar Duruşma Tutanağı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İstinaf Mahkemesi Karar Duruşma Tutanağı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İkinci Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İstinaf Mahkemesi Son Savunma)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Yargıtay Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı Tebliğnamesi)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Yargıtay Cumhuriyet Başsavcılığı Tebliğnamesi)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Yargıtay Kararı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (Yargıtay Kararı)

FETÖ Medya Ana Dava (İstinaf Mahkemesi Kararı)

FETÖ Media Organization

After the coup attempt of July 15, numerous journalists working at different media outlets were taken into custody for alleged links to “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization - Parallel State Structure /FETÖ-PDY”.

The names of those who would be detained were first published by media outlets close to the government. The first detentions took place on July 27, 2016. The investigation was ordered by Fuzuli Aydoğdu, Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of Istanbul.

Here are the individuals first taken into custody during the investigation: Osman Nuri Öztürk, Ali Akbulut, Bülent Keneş, Mehmet Kamış, Hüseyin Döğme, Süleyman Sargın, Veysel Ayhan, Şeref Yılmaz, Mehmet Akif Afşar, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Kardıç, Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Sevgi Akarçeşme, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ali Bulaç, Bülent Korucu, İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye Ural, Hamit Çiçek, Adil Gülçek, Hamit Bilici, Şenol Kahraman, Melih Kılıç, Nevzat Güner, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Sedat Yetişkin, Oktay Vızvız, Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, Behçet Akyar, Murat Avcıoğlu, Yüksel Durgut, Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, Hakan Taşdelen, Osman Nuri Arslan, Ömer Karakaş.

Some of these individuals were detained in raids on their homes. However, some of them were not found in their homes. Therefore, certain individuals were detained only later. Individuals detained first within the scope of the investigation were held at the Istanbul Police Department’s Public Security Branch in Gayrettepe.

After the procedures at the police, Nazlı Ilıcak, Seyit Kılıç, Yakup Sağlam, Bayram Kaya, Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, Emre Soncan, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Abdullah Kılıç, Habip Güler, Mehmet Gündem, Cuma Ulus, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Bülent Mumay, Haşim Söylemez, Ali Akkuş, Yakup Çetin, Arda Akın and Ufuk Şanlı were brought to the Çağlayan Courthouse on July 30, 2016. They were interrogated by the prosecutor’s office, and were referred to the court: 20 of them with a request for their arrest and Bülent Mumay with a request for judicial control. The panel of judges ordered that journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Haşim Söylemez, Seyid Kılıç, Emre Soncan, Cuma Ulus, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Habib Güler, Ufuk Şanlı, Yakup Çetin, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Ali Akkuş, Abdullah Kılıç, Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu and Hüseyin Aydın be arrested for “membership of a terrorist organization”. Yakup Sağlam and Arda Akın were released on condition of judicial control. Under the judicial control provisions, the court ruled that the two suspects were banned from leaving the country and had to go to the police station for signature once a week. The court ordered the release of Bülent Mumay and Mehmet Gündem.

Of those detained under the same investigation but on different dates, pop singer and Meydan newspaper columnist Atilla Taş, journalists Murat Aksoy and Mutlu Çölgeçen, National Party chairman and contributor to Türk Solu magazine Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu were arrested on September 2, 2016, on charges of “knowingly and willingly aiding FETÖ without being part of its hierarchical structure”. The journalists referred to the court on the same day, namely Ayhan Şimşek, İskender Yunus Tiryaki, Dinçer Gökçe and Levent Arap were released on condition of judicial control.

All of the detained journalists were taken to Silivri High Security Closed Prison. The trial of the journalists began 8 months later. Files of some of the names detained under the investigation were separated. Finally, an indictment against 29 people, 2 of whom were journalists, was drafted by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Murat Cağlak. The 196-page indictment was completed on January 16, 2017 and submitted to the court. The indictment covered the following individuals: Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Atilla Taş, Bayram Kaya, Bülent Ceyhan, Bünyemin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Davut Aydın, Emre Soncan, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Habip Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Muhterem Tanık, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Oğuz Usluer, Said Sefa, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Yetkin Yıldız.

These individuals consisted of employees, owners and writers of the Millet, Cihan Haber Ajansı, Zaman, Meydan, Yeni Hayat, Bugün newspaper, and Rotahaber and Samanyolu Haber web sites.

On page 112 of the indictment, there was comprehensive information on the organization and creation of “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization- Parallel State Structure /FETÖ-PDY”. Such information was provided in similar cases as well.

The section on the defendants focused on the newspapers and web sites that they worked for. The journalists were charged for working at media outlets shuttered by Decree Laws, for their articles in these outlets, and their social media posts.

The indictment was accepted by Istanbul 25. High Criminal Court and a lawsuit was filed. The date of the first hearing was scheduled as March 27-31, 2017. 26 defendants were under arrest, while one defendant was free. Of the defendants, journalists Said Sefa and Bülent Ceyhan did not attend the hearing since they were fugitives. The hearing was held in the large hall on the ground floor of Çağlayan Courthouse because of the high number of defendants and spectators.

On the last day of the hearings, the prosecutor requested the release of 13 individuals, and the panel of judges ordered the release of 21 out of the 26 defendants under arrest, including these 13. However, the prosecutor objected to the release of 8 journalists scheduled for that day. 26. High Criminal Court processed and approved this objection right away, and issued a second arrest order for Hanım Büşra Erdal, Ahmet Memiş, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cuma Ulus, Habib Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta and Muhammet Said Kuloğlu. These eight people thus remained in prison. On the same day, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant for the 13 people whom the prosecutor had requested to be released and the court had ordered to be released, due to the “coup investigation”. These people were taken from prison to police custody. As part of this investigation, seven people were arrested for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” and “attempting to overthrow the government of Republic of Turkey”. The reason for their arrest was presented as “the evidence against the suspects, the nature of the alleged offense, and the possibility of escape.”

The suspects thus interrogated were arrested by the criminal court of peace that they were referred to, and sent back to prison. Release orders had been issued for the following individuals: Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Atilla Taş, Bayram Kaya, Bünyemin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Habip Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Seyid Kılıç, Yakup Çetin and Yetkin Yıldız.

The second hearing of the case was held on April 27, 2017. Witnesses for the journalists were also heard at this hearing. The court adjourned the trial until July 6, 2017. At the end of that hearing, the court announced its interim ruling, rejected the release requests by 13 defendants and their lawyers, and adjourned the case until October 24. At the third hearing of the case, the panel of judges had changed for the third time. The trial began with the chair of the panel of judges reading the documents that had been sent to the court. A written statement from the General Directorate of Security claimed that the defendants Bülent Ceyhan, D. A., Mutlu Çölgeçen, Oğuz Usluer, Seyit Kılıç and Ufuk Şanlı had downloaded the application ByLock on their mobile phones. However, A., Usluer and Kılıç rejected this claim.

Meanwhile, a new indictment was drafted by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor İrfan Fidan about the 13 people who had been arrested again after the release order. This second indictment concerning 13 individuals charged them with “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” and “attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey”, requesting two counts of aggravated life sentence.

The indictment claimed that “the suspects followed FETÖ’s orders to open an account in Bank Asya or deposit a large amount of money in an already existing account, some of them used ByLock, some of them had phone calls with senior leaders of FETÖ”. Furthermore, it was alleged that the suspects objected to the operations against the Gülen Sect launched after December 17-25, 2013, and supported the organization.

The first hearing of this case was held on August 16-17, 2017 at the Istanbul 25. High Criminal Court. 13 of the defendants were in attendance at the hearing. Chair of the panel of judges, Taner Akıncı, judges Emre Efe Şimşek and Özlem Atuk Şimşek took their seats. At the hearing, the rearrested journalists presented their defense. At the end of the hearing, the court ordered the release of Bünyamin Köseli and Cihan Acar with a ban on leaving the country and the continuation of the detention of the other defendants, as well as the continuation of judicial control for Ali Akkuş. The court ruled that this trial be merged with the other trial where the defendants were accused of “membershio p of a terrorist organization”. The trial was adjourned until October 24, 2017. In that hearing, the defendants and their lawyers expressed their opinions about the reports on Bank Asya and ByLock use which had been sent to the court. According to the report on Bank Asya, six of the defendants including Atilla Taş had no account at Bank Asya, the accounts of four other defendants were dubious, and the other defendants did have accounts at the said bank but these showed no out-of-ordinary transaction. At the end of the hearing, the court ordered the release of journalists Atilla Taş and Murat Aksoy from prison.

After the decision to merge the two cases, the second hearing was scheduled for December 3-4, 2017. Witnesses continued to be heard at this hearing. A total of six witnesses were interrogated about Bünyamin Köseli, who had been released at the previous hearing, and Sait Sefa, for whom there was an arrest warrant, and the defendants in detention Bayram Kaya, Ahmet Memiş and Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu. After the testimonies of the witnesses, the prosecutor presented his judicial opinion, and requested the continued detention of all the defendants. Then the defendants took the floor to respond to witness testimonies.

The next hearing of the case was held on February 8, 2018. The prosecutor submitted his opinion as to the accusations, and requested that the charge of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” be dropped. However, he requested that all the defendants except Murat Aksoy, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu and Muhterem Tanık be charged with “membership of FETÖ / PDY terrorist organization” and that all the defendants who had been previously released be arrested, except Aksoy.

In his opinion as to the accusations, the prosecutor also requested that the cases of Said Sefa and Bülent Ceyhan, who were fugitives, be separated. After the prosecutor’s opinion, the defense lawyers took the floor and criticized the prosecutor’s requests since the digital report and the other evidence were in favor of their clients. Most of the lawyers also drew attention to the absence of concrete evidence that would justify the allegations of “membership of a terrorist organization” against their clients. At the end of the hearing, former Zaman business correspondent Halil İbrahim Balta was released on condition of judicial control due to health issues. The court then adjourned the trial until February 22-23, 2018 due to the lawyers’ demand for additional time to prepare their defense.

In the interim ruling, the court ordered that the files of the fugitives Bülent Ceyhan and Said Sefa be separated since they were also sued for “membership of a terrorist organization” and that the file of the detainee Emre Soncan also be separated, and merged with a newly filed lawsuit against him. Following this interim ruling, the number of defendants in the trial fell from 29 to 26.

The final hearing of the case was held on March 7-8, 2018. Following the defense presented, the journalists were asked to express their final remarks about the prosecutor’s opinion. Then the court announced its verdict, handing down sentences to 23 defendants for “membership of an armed terrorist organization”.
Journalist Murat Aksoy was sentenced to 2 years, 1 month in prison on charges of “knowingly and willingly aiding the organization, without taking part in the hierarchical structure of the organization”. Atilla Taş was also sentenced to 3 years, 1 month, 15 days in prison. The court ruled that these defendants would not be detained for the moment.

The panel of judges acquitted M. T., the wife of the owner of Rotahaber web site, Ünal Tanık.

The court ordered that 11 the following defendants be sentenced for “membership of a terrorist rganization” to 6 years, 3 months in prison -the lower limit for this crime: Former writer and editor of Habertürk newspaper Abdullah Kılıç; Zaman newspaper’s Ankara correspondent Bayram Kaya; Zaman newspaper’s culture and arts correspondent Bünyamin Köseli; Aksiyon magazine’s reporter Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu; Bugün newspaper’s correspondent Cihan Acar; Zaman newspaper’s correspondent Habip Güler; Zaman newspaper’s business correspondent Halil İbrahim Balta; Zaman newspaper’s correspondent Hanım Büşra Erdal; Cihan News Agency reporter Hüseyin Aydın; Zaman newspaper’s correspondent Yakup Çetin; and Türk Solu magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu.

The remaining 12 defendants were sentenced to 7 years, 6 months of imprisonment on charges of “membership of an armed terrorist organization” due to “the nature of the crime committed and the intensity of criminal intent”. This group included: Haberdar.com‘s news coordinator Ahmet Memiş; Zaman’s former news manager Ali Akkuş; the founder of Şubuhaber news web site Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu; former news manager of Bugün newspaper Mustafa Erkan Acar; Sabah newspaper’s former Ankara news editor Mutlu Çölgeçen; Habertürk TV’s former coordinator Oğuz Usluer; TRT news reporter Seyid Kılıç; Millet newspaper’s business news director and former contributor to al-Monitor, Ufuk Şanlı; Rotahaber website’s owner Ünal Tanık; editor of Active Haber website Yetkin Yıldız; Habertürk TV’s former news manager Cuma Ulus; and teacher Davut Aydın.

The court also ordered the change of the status of all detainees to “prisoner on remand”, and ordered the arrest of previously released Ali Akkuş.
Lawyers objected to the sentences at the court of appeal. Istanbul Regional Court’s 2. Criminal Chamber upheld the prison sentences on October 22, 2018. The court of appeal ordered the continued detention of the defendants, and rejected the defendants’ appeal in substance. 2. Criminal Chamber ruled that the evidence presented in the file was adequate and sufficient to convict the defendants, and that the local court’s decision was in keeping with the laws.

After the court of appeal upheld the prison sentences, Atilla Taş and Murat Aksoy, who had been sentenced to less than five years, went back to prison. Aksoy was released on probation on January 4, 2019 and Taş on February 8, 2019 after serving their sentences.

The court of appeal’s decision to uphold the sentence was then referred to the Court of Cassation since the prison sentences were over five years.

The appeal proceedings at the Court of Cassation are still underway. The individuals who were handed down prison sentences are still prisoners on remand.

FETÖ Medya Yapılanması (İddianame)

FETÖ Medya Yapılanması (Gerekçeli Karar)

FETÖ Medya Yapılanması (Savunma)