Işıl Özgentürk was born in 1948.
She was graduated from University of Istanbul, Faculty of Economics. While she was still at the university, she worked as a writer and an actress in different theatres.
She contributed to the children’s literature with her books. She wrote movie scenarios and play scripts. Put pen to numerous books. Prepared talk shows and educational programs in radios.
The movie “I love you Rosa” that she wrote the script and directed was awarded Jury Special Award at the International Istanbul Film Festival in 1992.
Made interviews for Cumhuriyet Daily. She still works as a columnist at the paper.
A lawsuit was opened against Özgentürk for 2 publications made from her Twitter and Instagram accounts. She was accused of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through press”. She was requested to be sentenced from 1 year 6 months to 7 years 6 months of imprisonment. At the end of the trial, she was acquitted.
She was also tried for the article she wrote in Cumhuriyet Daily at January 13th, 2019 with the title “New-Gen turbaned” for “provoking hatred and hostility in one section of the public against another through media”. She was requested to be sentenced from 9 months to 1 year 6 months of imprisonment. At the end of the trial she was sentenced to 1 year 6 months of imprisonment.
Following the report made with a complaint letter to the Sakarya Police Precinct, an investigation was launched against writer Işıl Özgentürk.
Within the scope of the investigation, Özgentürk’s social media accounts were inspected by Sakarya Cyber-Crimes Unite officers. The report, prepared after the inspection was sent to the prosecutors office. The report gave details of 2 social media publications Özgentürk made at September and April 2015.
Özgentürk, in the statement she gave at the prosecutors office; stated that she visited the South-Eastern Anatolia very frequently, which she claimed to have a vast knowledge of. She stated that “She was against terror and the terrorist organisation, her articles did not include any criminal factors.”
The indictment against Özgentürk was prepared at July 11th, 2019.
The indictment against writer Işıl Özgentürk was prepared, at July 11th, 2019.
The indictment did not include the details of the complaint letter that was the reason for the investigation against Özgentürk.
The indictment included the 2 different social media posts, that she was accused. One of the publications was made from her Twitter account, the other one was made from her Instagram account. Thus, for the first time, a journalist was accused of an instagram post.
The indictment accused Özgentürk’s instagram post as follows:
“It was revealed that she had published the photo of one of the allegged leaders of PKK/KCK Saline Cansız (aka Sara) who was killed in Paris, France at 09/01/2013 and Gülnaz Karataş (aka Beritan) who was killed in 1992 while still in the organisation, with the comment of ‘March 8th, Rojova border’”.
The indictment accused Özgentürk’s twitter post, shared at September 5th, 2016, as follows:
“It was written ‘here’s a barricade for you, from Silivan, it started this innocently but now there is no way back from this road’ on top of a picture of a several objects put on top of each other on a road made of fruit boxes.”
Posts were claimed to “have aimed to create sympathy towards to organisation among people, create feelings that will provide closeness to the actions of the organisation and remove the hostility against the organisation.” She was accused of “acting to flatter and promote the organisation”.
Özgentürk was accused of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through press”, regulated by the article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. She was requested to be sentenced for from 1.5 years to 7.5 years of imprisonment.
She was also requested to be “bereaved of specific rights” according to the article 53 Turkish Penal Code.
Writer Işıl Özgentürk’s trial, started with the first hearing at December 5th, 2019 that took place in Istanbul 28th Assize Court.
Prosecutor’s office presented the opinion as to the accusations at the first hearing. Claimed that Özgentürk had committed the crime of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation through media” with 2 social media posts she shared at September 6th, 2015 and April 4th, 2015. Requested Özgentürk to be punished.
Second hearing of the case was held at March 5th,
At the hearing, attorney Özger Demir, stated that Özgentürk had been a journalist for 50 years and the publications were made with the journalism reflex. Işıl Özgentürk’s defence was as follows:
“After what to prosecutor said about me, I said ‘I wish I was not a journalist so I could, not care about my country’s problems’. I am a patriot. I was offended to be related with the terrorist organisation. I am 73 years old and for 50 years I have been a journalist, directed plays. I could have left the country after September 12th, if I wanted. But I did not want to, I can not live in a different country. How can I support PKK. I am pacifist, patriotic, and agains child marriages. You can sentence me for these things, but not for supporting PKK.”
Prosecutor of the hearing, repeated his opinion as to the accusations.
The court ruled for Özgentürk’s acquittal.
Duruşmanın başlaması için 10:45 saati belirlenmişti, ancak duruşma 11:35’te başladı.
Duruşmada, Işıl Özgentürk ve avukatı Özge Demir hazır bulundu.
Duruşmada, ilk söz alan avukat Özge Demir, müvekkilinin yaklaşık 50 yıldır gazetecilik yaptığını ve paylaşımların da gazetecilik refleksi ile yapıldığını dile getirdi.
Demir, müvekkilinin yaptığı paylaşımların suç teşkil etmediğini, beraat talep ettiklerini söyledi.
Ardından söz alan Işıl Özgentürk, savunma yaptı. Özgentürk’ün savunması şu şekildeydi:
“Özellikle savcının benim hakkımda söylediklerinden sonra ‘keşke gazeteci olmasaydım ülkemin sorunlarına duyarsız kalsaydım’ dedim. Ben bir yurtseverim. Benim bir terör örgütü ile bağlantılanmam çok zoruma gitti.
73 yaşındayım 50 yıldır gazetecilik yapıyorum, oyun yönetiyorum. 12 Eylül’de istesem yurtdışına giderdim. Ama gitmedim, ben başka ülkede yaşayamam. Ben nasıl PKK terör örgütünü savunabilirim. Her şey olabilir. Ben barışsever, yurtseverim, çocuk evliliklerine karşıyım bunlar için ceza verebilirsiniz ama PKK’den veremezsiniz.”
Duruşma savcısı önceki duruşmada Özgentürk’ün atılı suçlamadan cezalandırılması yönünde verdiği mütalaasını tekrar ettiğini açıkladı.
Adliye girişinde gazeteciler ve yurttaşlar X-Ray cihazından geçirildi. Duruşmanın yapıldığı salonun bulunduğu koridor bariyerlerle kapalıydı. Gazeteciler ve izleyicilere engel çıkarılmadı. Duruşma salonunun önünde beklenilmesine izin verildi.
Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları
Duruşma, adliyenin orta büyüklükteki bir salonunda görüldü. Duruşma salonunda sanık ve avukatları için yer ayrılmıştı. Aynı şekilde izleyici ve gazeteciler için de 25 kişilik yer ayrılmıştı. Sesli ve Görüntülü Bilişim Sistemi (SEGBİS) için iki ayrı ekranı kuruluydu.
Duruşmayı P24, MLSA ve RSF izledi.
Duruşmada olağanüstü bir gelişme yaşanmadı.
Mahkeme verdiği kısa bir aranın ardından kararını açıkladı.
Mahkeme heyeti, oy çokluğuyla Özgentürk’ün beraatine hükmetti.
Heyetin kıdemli üyesinin Özgentürk’ün beraatına karşı oy kullanması dikkat çekti.
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