Hayko Bağdat

Hayko Bağdat was born in Istanbul in 1976. Started studying History at Istanbul University, and was forced to drop out for family reasons.

Bağdat, undertook the position of producer and host of the “Sözde Kalanlar” program in Yaşam Radio in 2002 which talked about “minority problems”. He became the first Armenian radio host to make a program about Armenians in Turkey. He was also a part of the “Friends of Hrant” group, formed to seek justice, after the murder of journalist Hrant Dink. In 2012 Bağdat started to produce and host “Azı Karar Çoğu Zarar” program with Roni Marguiles at IMC TV.

His first book “Salyangoz” was published in 2014. After that he published “Gollik” in 2015 and “Kurtuluş Çok Bozuldu” in 2016.

He was a columnist at shuttered Taraf Daily and Diken web news site. Hosted a TV debate show with Nazlı Ilıcak at shuttered Bugün TV.

Taraf Daily and Bugün TV were shut down by a Decree-Law (KHK) within the scope of the State of Emergency (OHAL) declared in the aftermath of the attempted military coup on July 15th, 2016. During the State of Emergency, numerous press outlets were shut down by these Decree-Laws passed by the government, without the parliament’s approval.

In 2017 started “Özgürüz” website with journalist Can Dündar and worked as a manager of the site for a while.

Bağdat, who has been living abroad since 2016, is still preparing and hosting the program called “Hayko Bağdat ile birebir” at Europe-based Medya Haber TV.

Bağdat is being tried through his articles, social media posts and his words on different TV programs on the grounds of “insulting the President” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation”.

It is known that there a numerous open cases against Bağdat, our research on these case files is ongoing.

Hayko Bağdat - “Insulting the President” Trial

Office of Secretary General of the Presidency filed a complaint against the speech Bağdat gave on September 1, 2015 at Bugün TV, which was later she down, to the Press Related Crimes Investigation Bureau of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Secretariat claimed that Bağdat “had insulted President Tayyip Erdoğan”. Bağdat, had voiced his criticisms on the current political agenda.

According to that, the prosecution launched an investigation against Bağdat.

According to the Turkish Penal Code, in order to open a lawsuit against an individual for the crime of “insulting the President”, a permission from the Ministry of Justice is required. Necessary ministerial permission to open a lawsuit against Bağdat was granted on October 6, 2016.

The indictment against Bağdat was completed on October 21, 2016.

The indictment against journalist Hayko Bağdat, was completed by Press Related Crimes Investigation Bureau of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, on October 21, 2016.

President Tayyip Erdoğan was the “complainant” of the indictment.

The indictment based the accusation of “insulting the President” on Bağdat’s criticising words against President Tayyip Erdoğan, on September 1, 2015, at Bugün TV, which was later shut down by a State of Emergency Decree-Law.

Bağdat’s words were put in the indictment as follows:

“…we are facing a administrator who applies enemy law on his citizens”, “…we are facing an administration which attempts to build oppression and fear within the public”, “You did not make sure that the responsible public officials on the mass murder cases, so that no one ever does it again, you covered the Dink murder, you covered all the all the blood-covered events that occurred during this term”, “How much of your own state you can invade, how many public offices you are going to silence , how many more people”, “you tore the constitution up and burned it to the ground”, “Erdoğan said just that to our coworkers through prisons and arrests, he said we will send them to jail and he put himself in the position of a judge again. He keeps criticising the “National Chief” but we are now facing the biggest National Chief of this country history. He made us miss İnönü, he keeps on talking about him (İnönü) but we have not seen a bigger wannabe National Chief than him.”

The indictment claimed that Bağdat’s words had “crossed the lines of criticism” and “aimed to belittle Mr. President”.

The indictment accused Bağdat of “insulting the President” according to the article 299/1 of Turkish Penal Code. He was requested to be sentenced to, from one to four years of imprisonment. However the indictment that the crime was committed “through media”. Therefore the requested sentence was requested to be increased by a sixth, according to the article 299/2 of the Turkish Penal Code.

Bağdat, in total, was requested to be sentenced to, from one year two months to four years eight months of imprisonment for “publicly insulting the President”

Bağdat was also requested to be “bereaved of specific rights” according to the article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.

The indictment against Bağdat was accepted by Istanbul 51st Criminal Court of First Instance.

Journalist Hayko Bağdat’s trial started at Istanbul 51st Criminal Court of First Insance.

The trial is set to continue on February 2, 2021.

10. Standing - Feb. 2, 2021


Saat 10.00’da görülmesi beklenen duruşma, Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları mazeret bildirdiği için görülmedi. Mahkeme dosya üzerinden inceleme yaptı. Karar UYAP üzerinden avukatlara gönderildi.


Mahkeme heyeti, Hayko Bağdat için yurt dışı adresinde ifadesinin alınması için Adalet Bakanlığına yazılan yazının yanıtının beklenilmesine karar vererek, duruşmayı 6 Temmuz 2021 tarihine erteledi.


Duruşma Öncesi

Covid-19 önlemleri kapsamında adliyeye girişler tek sıra haline yapıldı. Girişler bariyerlerle çevrilmişti. Ateş ölçümü yapıldıktan sonra avukat ve yurttaşlar adliyeye alındı. Duruşmanın yapıldığı salonun önünde her hangi bir bariyer bulunmuyordu.

Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları

Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları mazeret bildirdiği için duruşma görülmedi.

Hayko Bağdat - “Insulting the President” Trial (Indictment)

Hayko Bağdat - “Insulting the President” Trial 10. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)

Hayko Bağdat - "Insulting the President in Successive Intervals” and "Insulting the Public Official" Trial

Journalist Hayko Bağdat, on “Özgürüz” website, published an article entitled “Erdoğan hakkında son yazım” on April 14, 2017.

President Tayyip Erdoğan’s attorney Ahmet Özel, filed a complaint to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, regarding Bağdat’s article on April 17, 2017. Bağdat, through the article, was accused of “insulting the President”.

On the other hand, a denunciation, regarding some social media posts, shared on Bağdat’s personal account, was made to the Communication Centre of the Prime Ministry(BİMER). It was claimed that the social media posts had “insulted the then-Prime-Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”.

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).

Istanbul Police Precinct’s Section of Security and Isparta Police Precinct’s Section of Cyber Crimes made an inspection on Bağdat’s social media posts. Istanbul Police Precinct’s report on the inspection was completed and sent to the prosecutor’s office on May 17, 2017. Isparta Police Precinct’s report was completed an sent to the prosecutor’s office on April 25, 2017.

The investigation launched due to the complaint of the President Tayyip Erdoğan and the investigation launched due to the denunciations made to BİMER, were consolidated.

Within the scope of the consolidated case, Bağdat was to give a statement. However Istanbul Police Precinct’s Section of Security informed the prosecutor’s office that Bağdat, on December 12, 2016, had led the country. Therefore his statement was not taken.

Prosecutor’s Office, requested Istanbul Criminal Court of Peace to issue a capture warrant against Bağdat as his statement was not taken. Due to the request, Istanbul 11th Criminal Court of Peace issued a capture warrant against Bağdat on December 13, 2018.

According to the Turkish Penal Code, in order to open a lawsuit against an individual for the crime of “insulting the President”, a permission from the Ministry of Justice is required. Necessary ministerial permission to open a lawsuit against Bağdat was granted on September 18, 2018 and May 2, 2019.

The indictment against Bağdat was completed on July 24, 2019.

The indictment against journalist Hayko Bağdat was completed by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on July 24, 2019.

It was stated that the investigation was launched due to President Tayyip Erdoğan’s complaint and the denunciation made to BİMER.

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).

Istanbul Police Precinct’s Section of Security and Isparta Police Precinct’s Section of Cyber Crimes made an inspection on Bağdat’s social media posts. Istanbul Police Precinct’s report on the inspection was completed and sent to the prosecutor’s office on May 17, 2017. Isparta Police Precinct’s report was completed an sent to the prosecutor’s office on April 25, 2017.

The indictment showed the article “Erdoğan hakkında son yazım” published at “Özgürüz” web news site on April 14, 2017 and four social media posts as the base of the accusations.

Bağdat’s article was written before the referendum on April 16, 2017 where the administrative system of Turkey was voted to be changed.

Social media posts, dated January 2014, March 2015, May 2017 and April 2017 were put in the indictment as follows:

  • Post that read “Country is being hijacked by a group of clueless people like Cem Küçük, Cemil Barlas, Tayyip Erdoğan, Şamil Tayyar, Markar Esayan. What a shame…”
  • Post that includes the words “He is talking at Diyarbakır, which he burned to the ground. We should ignore this so we don’t get bothered.” regarding President Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Diyarbakır.
  • Post including the comment “Someone else has criminal tendencies. And the whole world knows about it.” that quoted the news article “Reason of Demirtaş’s imprisonment: Delinquent personality”.
  • Responding “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan” to a post that said “Reveal that person’s name if you have courage you HDPKK lover! I am ashamed of having journalists like you in my country.”
  • Post that read “I have high fever and I’m having terrible dreams. In my dream, a newly discovered species of carp were named Recep and Emine”.

The indictment accused Bağdat of “insulting the President” according to the article 299/1 of the Turkish Penal Code. He was requested to be sentenced to, from one to four years of imprisonment. The indictment claimed that the “crime was committed publicly”. Therefore the requested sentence was requested to be increased by a sixth according to the article 299/2 of the TPC. 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. He was, in total, requested to be sentenced to, from one year five months 15 days to eight years two months of imprisonment.

On the other hand, Bağdat was accused of “insulting a public official due to the performance of his public duty” according to the articles 125/1 and 125/3(a), as one of the subject matter posts was shared in 2014 and at that time Tayyip Erdoğan was the Prime Minister. He was requested to be sentenced to, from one year to two years.

Bağdat was requested to be sentenced to, in total, two years five months 15 days to 10 years two months of imprisonment, on the grounds of “insulting the President in a successive manner” and “insulting a public official due to the performance of his public duty”.

Bağdat was also requested to be “bereaved of specific rights” according to the article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.

The indictment against Bağdat was accepted by Istanbul 50th Criminal Court of First Instance.

Trial of journalist Hayko Bağdat started at Istanbul 50th Criminal Court of First Instance.

Second hearing of the case was held on April 29, 2020. However the hearing was postponed due to the measures taken against the coronavirus pandemic.

Third hearing of the case was held on October 14, 2020. Bağdat, who was abroad, was not present at the hearing. He was represented by his attorney Ali Deniz Ceylan. Ceylan stated that Bağdat was abroad for work reasons and could not return to the country due to the coronavirus pandemic and requested Bağdat’s statement to be taken in Germany. Ceylan also presented Bağdat’s address in Germany to the court.

Court lifted the capture warrant against Bağdat as his address abroad was presented. It was ruled that the necessary dispatches were to be made with Germany to take Bağdat’s statement.

The trial is set to continue with the fourth hearing on February 3, 2021.

4. Standing - Feb. 3, 2021


Saat 10.00’da görülmesi beklenen duruşma, Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları mazeret bildirdiği için görülmedi. Mahkeme dosya üzerinden inceleme yaptı. Karar UYAP üzerinden avukatlara gönderildi.


Mahkeme heyeti, Hayko Bağdat için yurt dışı adresinde ifadesinin alınması için Adalet Bakanlığına yazılan yazının yanıtının beklenilmesine karar vererek, duruşmayı 5 Mayıs 2021 tarihine erteledi.


Duruşma Öncesi

Covid-19 önlemleri kapsamında adliyeye girişler tek sıra haline yapıldı. Girişler bariyerlerle çevrilmişti. Ateş ölçümü yapıldıktan sonra avukat ve yurttaşlar adliyeye alındı. Duruşmanın yapıldığı salonun önünde her hangi bir bariyer bulunmuyordu.

Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları

Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları mazeret bildirdiği için duruşma görülmediğinden izlenim yapılamadı.

3. Standing - Oct. 14, 2020


Saat 11.50’de başlaması gereken duruşma, yaklaşık bir saat gecikmeyle, saat 12.55’te başladı.

Hakim, gözlemcilerin duruşma salonuna girmesine, koronavirüs pandemisi karşısında alınan tedbirler kapsamında izin vermedi.

Yurtdışındaki Bağdat, duruşmaya katılmadı. Duruşmada, Bağdat’ı; avukatı Ali Deniz Ceylan temsil etti. Ceylan; iş nedeniyle yurtdışında olduğunu ve koronavirüs pandemisi nedeniyle ülkeye giriş yapamadığını belirttiği Bağdat’ın savunmasının Almanya’da alınmasını talep etti. Ceylan, mahkemeye; Bağdat’ın Almanya’daki adresini de sundu.

Duruşma savcısı, Bağdat’ın savunmasının yaşadığı yerde alınmasını talep etti.


Mahkeme, Bağdat’ın yurtdışındaki adresinin sunulması nedeniyle hakkındaki yakalama kararını kaldırdı. Bağdat’ın savunmasının alınması için Almanya ile yazışmaların yürütülmesine karar verildi.

Yargılamanın, 3 Şubat 2021 tarihinde görülecek dördüncü duruşma ile devam etmesine karar verildi.


Duruşma Öncesi

Koronavirüs karşısında alınan önlemler kapsamında, adliyeye; tek sıra halinde girilebildi. Bu düzen, bariyerlerle sağlandı. Ateş ölçümü ve X-Ray taraması yapıldı.

Duruşmanın yapıldığı salonun önünde bariyer yoktu.

Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları

Duruşma küçük bir salonda görüldü. İzleyiciler için ayrılan her iki oturma yerinden biri, koronavirüs karşısında alınan sosyal mesafe önleminin sağlanması için bantla kapatılmıştı.

Gözlemcilerin duruşma salonuna girmesine, koronavirüs pandemisi karşısında alınan tedbirler kapsamında izin verilmedi. Bu nedenle, duruşma salonuna ilişkin gözlem yapılamadı.

Duruşmaya Katılım

Bağımsız Gazetecilik Platformu (P24) ve Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) gözlemcileri, duruşmayı takip etmek için adliyeydi. Ancak, mahkeme başkanı; gözlemcilerin duruşma salonuna girmesine, koronavirüs pandemisi karşısında alınan tedbirler kapsamında izin vermedi.

Genel Gözlemler

Mahkeme salonu, o gün görülecek her iki duruşma arasında, koronavirüs pandemisi nedeniyle dezenfekte edildi. Gözlemciler, pandemi nedeniyle duruşma salonuna alınmadı. Gözlemciler, duruşmayı; mahkeme salounun kapı eşiğinden takip etmek durumunda kaldı.

Hayko Bağdat - "Insulting the President in Successive Intervals” and "Insulting the Public Official" Trial (Indictment)

Hayko Bağdat - "Insulting the President in Successive Intervals” and "Insulting the Public Official" Trial 3. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)

Hayko Bağdat - "Insulting the President in Successive Intervals” and "Insulting the Public Official" Trial 4. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)

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

Istanbul Police Precinct made an inspection on Bağdat’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. The report regarding the inspection was presented to the prosecution on May 5, 2017 and June 16, 2018.

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 against journalist Hayko Bağdat was completed by Press Related Crimes Bureau of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office 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 also included the information that there were ongoing investigations against Bağdat on the charges of “publicly degrading; the military or security organisations of the state, Turkish Nation, State of the Turkish Republic, Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial bodies of the State”.

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 was also requested to be “bereaved of specific rights” according to the article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code.

The indictment was accepted by Istanbul 28th Assize court.

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

Trial continued with the hearing on November 12, 2020. Journalist on trial Hayko Bağdat’s attorneys were excused.

Next hearing of the case is set to March 4, 2021.

1. Standing - Nov. 12, 2020


Saat 09.00’da başlaması gereken duruşma, 20 dakika gecikmeyle, saat 09.20’de başladı.

Yargılanan gazeteci Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları, mazeret bildirerek duruşmaya katılmadı.

Bu yüzden duruşma, dosya üzerinden görüldü.


Yargılanan gazeteci Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatlarının mazeretleri kabul edildi.

Yargılamanın 4 Mart 2021 tarihinde görülecek duruşma ile devam etmesine karar verildi.


Duruşma Öncesi

Koronavirüs karşısında alınan önlemler kapsamında, adliyeye; tek sıra halinde girilebildi. Bu düzen, bariyerlerle sağlandı. Ateş ölçümü ve X-Ray taraması yapıldı.

Duruşmanın yapıldığı salonun önünde bariyer yoktu.

Başka duruşmalar için gelenler, mahkeme salonunun önündeydi.

Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları

Yargılanan gazeteci Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları, mazeret bildirerek duruşmaya katılmadı. Bu yüzden duruşma, dosya üzerinden görüldü. Bu nedenle, mahkeme salonuna ilişkin gözlem yapılamadı.

Duruşmaya Katılım

Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) gözlemcisi, duruşmayı takip etmek için adliyedeydi.

Genel Gözlemler

Yargılanan gazeteci Hayko Bağdat’ın avukatları, mazeret bildirerek duruşmaya katılmadı. Bu yüzden duruşma, dosya üzerinden görüldü. Bu nedenle, duruşmaya ilişkin ilişkin gözlem yapılamadı.

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

Press in Arrest is a database, monitoring, documentation and collective memory study of Press Research Association.
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