Ali Açar

A reporter at Cumhuriyet Daily.

At March 11th, 2016 he prepared news with Canan Coşkun, his coworker at the time, about the investigations Berlin Elvan who passed away during the Gezi Park Protests. 2 journalists were then accused for “Disclosing the identity of a police officer who was one of the suspects on the case ” for the news published at the paper.

Berkin Elvan was killed during Gezi Park protests in 2013 when a tear gas canister fired by the police had hit his head.

A case was opened against them for “identifying officials on anti-terror duties as targets”.

They are pending trial.

“Berkin Elvan News” Trial

An investigation launched following the news at Cumhuriyet and BirGün Daily regarding the investigation about murder of Berkin Elvan during Gezi Protests.

Both of the articles subject to the investigation were published at March 11th, 2016, at Cumhuriyet Daily with the title “The police officer accused of shooting Berkin Elvan could not remember his place of duty” and at BirGün Daily with the title “Confidentiality order of Berkin investigation caused not to disrepute the murderer”.

Berkin Elvan was killed during Gezi Park protests in 2013 when a tear gas canister fired by the police had hit his head.

Cumhuriyet Reporter Ali Açar had prepared the article with Canan Coşkun, with whom he was coworkers at the time.

Journalists were accused for disclosing the identity of a police officer who was one of the suspects on the investigation regarding Berkin Elvan’s death during Gezi Protests.

A case was opened against Cumhuriyet Reporter Ali Açar, former Cumhuriyet Reporter Canan Coşkun and BirGün Reporter Can Uğur for “identifying officials on anti-terror duties as targets”

The indictment that accused journalists Ali Açar, Canan Coşkun and Can Uğur of “identifying officials who were on anti-terror duties as targets” according to the article 6/1 of the Anti-Terror Law, was prepared by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. 3-page-long indictment was completed and presented to the court at November 21st, 2019.

Journalists were accused for disclosing the identity of a police officer who was one of the suspects on the investigation regarding Berkin Elvan’s death during Gezi Protests.

Prosecutor, in the indictment, mentioned the titles of the articles, that were the subjects of the accusations. Both of the articles subject to the investigation were published at March 11th, 2016, at Cumhuriyet Daily with the title “The police officer accused of shooting Berkin Elvan could not remember his place of duty” and at BirGün Daily with the title “Confidentiality order of Berkin investigation caused not to disrepute the murderer”.

Indictment also included the journalists’ statements at the prosecutors office during the investigation.

In his statement at the prosecutor’s office, Ali Acar said that he had not made the news, he had just written the press statement of Elvan Family Attorney and all the content apart from that was not prepared by him and stated that he had not included any information or documents regarding the investigation in his article.

Prosecutor, argued that the article on Cumhuriyet Daily about murder of Elvan had the name of the officer was written as E. Y. and he was identifiable from the photo.

Prosecutor, claimed that “Berkin Elvan’s death was exploited by some terrorist organisations” and the aforementioned articles “suspect officer was put on target for left organisations” and argued that Açar had committed the crime of “identifying officials that were on anti-terror duties as targets”, regulated by the article 6/1 of the Anti-Terror Law.

Açar was requested to be punished for the accused crimes from 1 year to 3 years of imprisonment and also to be bereaved of specific rights according to the article 53 Turkish Penal Code.

The trial of journalists Canan Coşkun, Ali Açar and Can Uğur was to start with the first hearing on April 9, 2020, at Istanbul 34th Assize Court. However the hearing was postponed to September 17, 2020 due to the measures taken against the “coronavirus” outbreak in Turkey.

2. Standing - Sept. 17, 2020


Saat 09.50’de başlaması gereken duruşma, yaklaşık 20 dakika gecikmeyle, saat 10.10’da başladı.

Gazeteciler Canan Coşkun, duruşmaya avukatı Abbas Yalçın ile; gazeteci Can Uğur ise duruşmaya, avukatı Tolgay Güvercin ile birlikte katıldı.

Ali Açar duruşmaya katılmadı. Açar’ı, duruşmada; avukatı Buket Yazıcı temsil etti.

Can Uğur, savunmasında; “Yaptığım haberde kişinin kimlik bilgileri ifşa edilmemiş. Haber incelendiği zaman kimliğinin ifşa edilmediği görülecektir. Yapmış olduğum haber dosyadaki gizlilik kararı ile alakalı. Avukatlardan görüş alarak yaptığım bir haber. Herhangi bir isim kullanmadım, herhangi bir kamu görevlisini hedef göstermedim” dedi.

Canan Coşkun da savunmasında söz konusu haberi yayımladıkları zaman Berkin Elvan’ın vurulmasının üzerinden üç yıl geçtiğini kaydederek, “Haber fikri takibin bir parçasıdır. Dosyadan, kişinin ifadesini buldum. Onu yayınladım. Polisin kimliğini açığa çıkarmak kastı ile haber yapmadım, habercilik etiği çerçevesinde haberi yaptım. Üzerime atılı suçlamayı kabul etmiyorum. Kamu yararı olduğu için haberi yaptım” dedi.

Duruşma savcısı, dosyadaki eksiklerin giderilmesini talep etti.


Hakim, duruşmanın; Ali Açar’ın savunmasının alınması için ertelenmesine karar verdi.

Mahkeme, İstanbul Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nden; haberlerde işaret edilen polisin Berkin Elvan’ın öldürülme tarihinde hangi birimde çalıştığının öğrenilmesine karar verdi.

Mahkeme, bir de Emniyet Müdürlüğü Siber Suçlarla Mücadele Şube Müdürlüğü’ne yazı yazılarak; “Berkin Elvan’ın öldürülmesi olayının herhangi bir terör örgütü tarafından sahiplenip sahiplenilmediğine” ilişkin bilgi istenmesine karar verdi.

Yargılamanın, 10 Kasım 2020 tarihinde görülecek üçüncü duruşma ile devam etmesine karar verildi.


Duruşma Öncesi

İstanbul’daki Çağlayan Adliyesi’ne, koronavirüs pandemisi karşısında alınan önlemler kapsamında ateş ölçümü yapılarak ve X-Ray cihazından geçildikten sonra girildi. Gazetecilerin, duruşma salonunun bulunduğu koridora geçiş yapmasına izin verildi.

Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları

Mahkeme salonunda, gözlemciler ve gazeteciler için 18 kişilik oturma yeri ayrılmıştı. Salonda ayrıca taraf avukatları ve sanıklar içinde yer ayrıldı.

Koronavirüs pandemisi karşısında alınan önlemler kapsamında her iki oturma yerinden birine uyarı yazıları asılmıştı.

Duruşmaya Katılım

Duruşmayı; Bağımsız Gazetecilik Platformu (P24) ve Medya Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) gözlemcileri takip etti.

Genel Gözlemler

Duruşmada olağanüstü bir gelişme yaşanmadı.

1. Standing - April 9, 2020


Duruşma; pandemi ilan edilen “coronavirüs” salgını karşısında Türkiye’de alınan tedbirler nedeniyle ertelendi.

Bir sonraki duruşma 17 Eylül 2020 tarihine ertelendi.

“Berkin Elvan News” Trial (Indictment)

“Berkin Elvan News” Trial 2. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)

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