Nuriye Akman(Ural) was born in 1957 in Samsun. Graduated from Communication Faculty of Gazi University. She started journalism at Milliyet Daily in 1982. Worked at Hürriyet Daily between 1985 and 1993 and at Sabah Daily between 1993 and 2002. She was acknowledged for her interviews. For a period of time she worked as a lecturer on interview techniques at Bahçeşehir University. Hosted tv programs at TRT, TRT Haber and SkyTürk. Lastly she was a columnist at Zaman Daily.
A board of “trustees” was appointed to the Zaman Daily before the attempted military coup on July 15, 2016. The paper was shut down by the Decree-Law(KHK) passed within the State of Emergency(OHAL), declared after July 15, 2016. Many press outlets were seized by court decisions before July 15, 2016. After the attempted military coup, the government had shut down many press outlets by Decree-Laws, without the approval of the Parliament.
She was taken into custody on July 27, 2016. Was arrested on July 30, 2016. She was sent to Bakırköy Female Prison. She was detained for 75 days.
She was accused of “attempting to abolish the order foreseen by the constitution, the parliament and the government of the Republic of Turkey by use of force and violence” and “armed terrorist organisation membership”. She faced 3 times aggravated life imprisonment and from 7 years 6 months to 15 years of imprisonment.
At the end of the trial she was acquitted of all of the accusations.
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office objected the acquittal decision of Akman at the appeal court. However the appeal court approved the decision. File is being inspected at the Court of Cassation.
Nuriye Akman(Ural), former writer of Zaman Daily which was shut down with the State of Emergency Decree-Law, was taken into custody at July 27th, 2016 within the scope of the operation against the former writers and executives of the paper. She was mentioned as Nuriye Ural in the investigation cases and the indictment.
She was arrested and sent to Bakırköy Female Prison at July 30th, 2016 by the decision of Istanbul 4th Criminal Court of Peace. She, at the Criminal Court of Peace, stated that she wrote pieces against coup and had no connection with FETÖ. Reasoning of the arrest warrant stated that Nuriye Akman had written articles that were promoting FETÖ and she continued her articles even though a lawsuit was opened against Ekrem Dumanlı, an executive of the paper. It was noteworthy that it was decided that she was to be arrested because Dumanlı had left the country.
Nuriye Akman, after being detained for 75 days, released by the decision of Istanbul 10th Criminal Court of Peace at October 12th, 2016, before the indictment against her was completed.
At December 1st, 2016 her properties were confiscated. It was claims that she was financing the terrorist organisation or was procuring assets with the advantage of being a terror organisation member.
The indictment against Akman was prepared at April 10th, 2017, while she was released. The indictment against Ural and other Zaman Daily writers and executives was sent to the court at April 11th, 2017. It was accepted by Istanbul 13th Assize Court at April 24th, 2017.
The indictment against her was prepared by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, Terror and Organised Crimes Bureau Prosecutor, at April 10th, 2018. 64-page-long indictment was sent to the court at April 11th, 2017 and accepted by Istanbul 13th Assize Court at April 24th, 2017.
The indictment against writer Nuriye Akman and executives and writers of shut-down Zaman Daily was completed on April 2017 by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, Bureau of Terror and Organised Crimes.
Indictment against Nuriye Akman, as many other FETÖ trials, started with the description of the purpose of the organisation, its structure, its sources of income, its force in weaponry. This part kept on for 20 pages. It was stated that the media outlets that employed the journalists were connected to FETÖ. Names of other journalists who were not suspects in this indictment were mentioned as well.
It was claimed that Nuriye Akman formed the media power of FETÖ. It was suggested that she was playing her role in order to remove the constitutional order of the state, the parliament and the government.
Akman’s name was mentioned twice in the indictment including the time at the identification part. Her column was included. Here her article titled “how to prevent corruption” at December 24th, 2013 following the 17/25 December Corruption and Bribery Investigation at 2013 involving numerous politicians and their children. But the content of the article was not included in the indictment.
It is stated that Nuriye Akman was not just opposing in her articles. The indictment, regarding the articles, says “did not include crime factors on surface”. However the articles were crossing the limits of the freedom of press and expression. It is suggested that she was, with her articles, violating the rights of the public officials and state institutions. According to the prosecutor that claimed Nuriye Akman did not hesitate to call for a military coup, had articles “in a nature to disrupt the peace and comfort of the public, social peace and public order”.
She was accused of “by use of force or violence, attempting to abolish the constitutional order”, ”attempting to abolish the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey, or to prevent them, in part or in full, from fulfilling their duties.” and ”attempting to abolish the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey, or to prevent them, in part or in full, from fulfilling their duties.” according to the articles 309/1, 311/1 and 312/1 of the Turkish Penal Code.
She was also accused of “membership of an armed organisation”, according to the article 314/2 of Turkish Penal Code and article 5 of the Anti-Terror Law.
In total, she was requested to be sentenced to 3 times aggravated life sentence and from 7,5 years to 15 years of imprisonment.
*She was also requested to be bereaved of specific rights according to the article 53 Turkish Penal Code.
The indictment was sent to Istanbul 13th Assize Court on April 11, 2017. It was approved by Istanbul 13th Assize Court on April 24, 2017.
First hearing of the case, where Nuriye Akman and executives and writers of shut-down Zaman Daily were tried took place on September 18-19, 2017 at Istanbul 13th Assize Court. The courtroom was inside Silivri Prison. At the first hearing, only the detained suspects have presented their defence statements.
Second hearing of the trial took place on December 8, 2017. Nuriye Akman, regarding the article “how to prevent corruption” that the indictment mentioned only the title and the publishing date without its content, made the following assessment:
“I believe everyone would agree with my article, only if it was published at any other newspaper than Zaman Daily. Unfortunately, in our country, correctness of the ideas are judge by the medium it reaches the readers.”
Nuriye Akman, reminded that she made the first interview with Fetullah Gülen, said the following:
“This duty of interviewing Gülen was given to me by Ertuğrul Özkök, at Hürriyet Daily. It became possible, after I was transferred to Sabah, to do what I could not do back then. My second interview with Gülen was for Zaman Daily.”
Third hearing took place on April 5, 2018. At this hearing, Prosecutor presented his opinion as to the accusations.
Accusations of; by use of force or violence, “attempting to abolish the constitutional order”, ”attempting to abolish the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey, or to prevent them, in part or in full, from fulfilling their duties. and ”attempting to abolish the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey, or to prevent them, in part or in full, from fulfilling their duties.” were dropped by the opinion. The accusation of “membership of an armed organisation” was modified.
According to that, Akman was accused of “aiding an armed terrorist organisation without taking part in its hierarchical structure” regulated by the articles 220/7 and 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code. The opinion requested her top be sentenced to from 7 years 6 months to 15 years of imprisonment whereas the indictment had requested her to be sentenced to 3 times aggravated life time and from 7 years 6 months to 15 years of imprisonment.
Trials ended with the decisive hearing on July 5-6, 2018.
Nuriye Akman was acquitted of all of the accusations.
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office made an appeal to the court of appeal, regarding Akman’s acquittal. 2nd Criminal Chambers of Istanbul Regional Court of Justice, ruled to approve the acquittal decision on June 25, 2019.
Supreme Court of Appeal Process
Court of Cassation Chief of Public Prosecutor’s Office requested approval of the acquittal decision regarding Akman.
The letter of notification was presented to the 16th Criminal Chamber of Court of Cassation. The notification which was completed by Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation, and was presented to the 16th Criminal Chambers, requested the approval of the acquittal decision.
The notification also requested the approval of the acquittal decisions of columnists İhsan Duran Dağı, Orhan Kemal Cengiz and Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu. And requested that the acquittal decision of Mehmet Özdemir to be overruled.
On the other hand, notification requested the sentences against İbrahim Karayeğen, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Mümtazer Türköne and Mustafa Ünal, for “membership of an armed organisation to be approved. Prosecutor’s Office requested that the sentences of Şahin Alpay and Ali Bulaç, given for “membership of an armed terrorist organisation” to be overruled and stated that Alpay and Bulaç were to be tried for “knowingly and willingly aiding FETÖ/PYD armed terrorist organisation without taking part in its hierarchical structure”.
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