İlhan Tanır was writing articles for the Cumhuriyet Newspaper from the USA, where he continues to live. An indictment was issued against him with the charge of “aiding a terrorist organization, although not being a member of that organization.” His file was separated due to his location.
Upon the request of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Istanbul Criminal Court of Peace filed an arrest warrant for İlhan Tanır, who was the USA correspondent of the Cumhuriyet Newspaper. Tanır, who lives in the USA, couldn’t be arrested.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued an indictment against İlhan Tanır with the charge of “aiding a terrorist organization” on April 3, 2017. The Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment.
In the indictment it was claimed that İlhan Tanır was working as the Washington correspondent for the news portal www.haberdar.com “which was reporting in line with the aims of FETÖ/PDY” [FETÖ/PDY refers to the movement of the followers of Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric who is in self-imposed exile in the USA and is considered to be the person who orchestrated the coup attempt on 15th of July, 2016. The Erzincan High Criminal Court was the first judicial institution which recognized it as a terrorist organization in 2016].
The prosecutor’s office noted Tanır was also working as the Cumhuriyet newspaper’s USA correspondent and “he took this position simultaneously with the appointment of Can Dündar to the editor-in-chief position and he wrote 115 articles for Cumhuriyet.” In the indictment, it was also noted that Tanır published his first article on March 6, 2015, and the last one on July 13, 2016 - two days before the 15th of July coup attempt - and after that his articles were no longer published in the Cumhuriyet newspaper.
The following statements were included in the indictment:
“It was observed that the suspect was targeting the President with his articles; with his image as a journalist who has influential and credible sources in USA, he was trying to present Turkey as a country which was isolated in foreign affairs, cannot demonstrate the necessary determination in the fight against terrorist organizations, and even aids ISIS and looks the other way, all in all an ungoverned country; he was usually citing an anonymous source which has been referred to as ‘a high ranking American source.’ When the suspect’s articles, which were published when he was the USA correspondent of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, his social media posts, open source information and his previous position as the USA correspondent of the haber.com news portal which has been shut down with a presidential decree for operating as FETÖ/PDY’s media outlet, are evaluated as a whole, [The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office] came to a conclusion that the suspect has committed the crime of ‘being a member of an armed terrorist organization’.”
The Cumhuriyet trial started on July 24, 2017. In the eighth hearing, the court ruled to wait for the execution of the arrest warrant for İlhan Tanır.
In the final hearing that was held on April 25, 2018, the court ruled to separate Tanır’s file from the case.
The trial against İlhan Tanır continues in the Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court in his absence.
The sentences of the defendants at the Cumhuriyet Newspaper Main Trial was approved by the Court of Appeal excluding that of İlhan Tanır. The file was referred to the Court of Cassation. It was demanded that the verdicts, issued about the defendants other than İlhan Tanır, be removed. However, Tanır was not included as his file was seperated from them before.