Journalist Zeynep Kuray was born in 1978. She started to work at Birgün Newspaper in 2008 and Fırat News Agency (ANF) in 2010.
She was among the 36 journalists and media professionals arrested on December 24th, 2011 within the scope of the trial popularly known as “KCK Press Trial”. She was placed in Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison, and detained until April 26th, 2013 pending trial. She is currently standing trial on charges of “membership of an armed terrorist organization”, and facing anywhere from 7 years, 6 months to 15 years in prison. The prosecutor has yet to submit his opinion as to the accusations in the trial, which started back in September 2012.
Kuray was deemed worthy of the journalism award named after Ilaria Alpi, a female Italian journalist killed in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1994. However, she could not attend the award ceremony due to the ban on her going abroad. So the award had to be given to another journalist. Kuray was also granted John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award by the US National Press Club in 2013.
49 journalists and media professionals working for “Kurdish media” outlets, namely Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Özgür Gündem Newspaper, Fırat News Agency (ANF) and Roj TV were arrested in the early morning hours on December 20th, 2011, with police raids on their homes or media outlets in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Van, Adana and Diyarbakir.
Fırat News Agency reporter Zeynep Kuray was among those detained on December 20th, 2011.
The journalists and media professionals thus detained were taken on the next day to the Istanbul Police Department’s Anti-Terror Branch on Vatan Avenue, Istanbul.
The investigation was conducted by Istanbul Public Prosecutor. A “confidentiality / restriction order” was issued regarding the case. As a result, the journalists in custody were initially unable to learn the charges against them.
Seven of the journalists and media professionals taken into custody were released on December 23rd, 2011 following the prosecutor’s inquiry.
However, 42 journalists and media professionals, including Zeynep Kuray, were brought before the court with a request for their arrest.
In her statement at the prosecutor’s office, Kuray stated that she was a freelance journalist for about 6 years, working as a reporter for Birgün Newspaper, and occasionally also for ANF. She said that she was not affiliated to any organization, and that she did not find it convincing that PKK would have a group called ‘Press Committee’.”
35 journalists and media professionals, including Kuray, were arrested on December 24th, 2011, following the court procedures. Kuray was placed in Bakırköy Women’s Prison.
The indictment against 44 journalists and media professionals, including journalist Zeynep Kuray, was completed on April 27th, 2012 by Istanbul Public Prosecutor. In the indictment, it was claimed that the so-called “KCK / PKK Press Committee” and “Democratic Enlightenment Union” (Yekîtiya Ragihandina Demokratik - YRD) guided the editorial policy and news coverage of the “Kurdish media”.
Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Fırat Publishing and Distribution Company, Gün Printing House (which printed the newspapers Azadiya Welat, Denge Welat, Özgür Gündem, Yeni Demokratik Toplum, Yeni Demokratik Yaşam, Yeni Demokratik Ulus and the magazines Özgür Halk, Demokratik Modernite, Yurtsever Gençlik), Fırat News Agency (ANF), Azadiya Welat Newspaper, Özgür Gündem Newspaper and other daily and weekly newspapers in Turkish; as well as various media or news outlets, including Roj TV, Medya TV, and Mezopotamya Radio, were listed among “KCK / PKK’s media outlets” in the indictment.
The indictment added that “KCK / PKK’s Press Committee has been holding regular meetings since 2001 to consolidate the hierarchy within the organization’s media network, and Press Conferences have transformed into YRD Conferences over time”, and that “The Press Committee’s editorial policy focused on establishing the state of Kurdistan”.
Journalistic activities were presented as “terror group’s activities” in the indictment. The indictment made frequent use of allegations and definitions such as “so-called journalism activities”, “news designed to denigrate the state”, “terror group-driven journalism”, “an independent journalist would not have penned such news stories” and “the photographs found in the computer denigrated state officials”.
37 pages of the 800-page indictment were dedicated to explaining the “KCK / PKK structure”; this section featured the arguments of the prosecutor as well as statements by three members of the organization and three secret witnesses who were captured or had surrendered. In addition, Abdullah Öcalan’s talks with his lawyers and the latters’ correspondence with each other were also included.
The next 100 pages offered a history of the “Kurdish media”. There were claims regarding the relationship between the organization and the newspapers, magazines, radios, televisions and web sites going back to the 1970s.
The prosecution claimed that many media outlets, especially DİHA, Fırat News Agency (ANF), Roj TV, were “broadcasting to serve the purposes of KCK / PKK”. The news, images, articles and interviews shared among these media outlets; statements of secret witnesses and suspects; and “KCK Charter’s sections related to the press” were presented to support these claims.
Journalists’ news stories, journalistic activities and coverage for media outlets such as Roj TV and ANF were presented as criminal activities.
In the indictment, 44 journalists and media employees were charged with “membership or leadership of a terrorist organization”.
The 38-page section about Zeynep Kuray started on page 707 of the indictment.
17 pages of these 38 pages on Kuray consisted of wiretapping records of the phone conversations between Kuray and her news editors at Fırat News Agency (ANF) or news sources. So, it turned out that Kuray’s phone was wiretapped, and that plain-clothes police pursued her during a meeting with a news source.
The prosecutor claimed, based on an examination of 39 phone calls by Kuray presented in the file, that Kuray reported to the “(ANF’s news editor) İsmet Kayhan”.
The prosecutor claimed that Kuray “penned news articles in line with the goals and objectives of the terror organization”, arguing that Kuray was “covering news that would denigrate the Turkish State and humiliate it publicly, in line with the instructions she received”.
In his assessments about Kuray’s news stories for ANF, the prosecutor reiterated public information such as “these news stories were published by ANF” and “the news stories were penned by Zeynep Kuray”.
The indictment prosecutor described the news articles by Kuray as “terror group-driven news”. He claimed that Kuray “was trying to pen news stories to cause confusion amongst the populace, and provoke the society” and “feeding propagandistic news by acting as an ANF officer during social events”.
The materials obtained during the search of her house were listed as follows in the indictment:
Laptop, hard disk, flash memory, memory card, handwritten notes, 20 notebooks, CD / DVDs, organizer, mobile phone SIM card; a signed document titled “Mehmet Arık” in a CD case; books titled “Popular Heroes in Kurdistan”, “Democratic Civilization Manifesto”, “Capitalist Civilization”, “Sociology of Freedom”, and “Kurdistan’s National Liberation Question and Solutions”.
Wiretapping records of Kuray’s calls to ANF’s news manager and her news sources were listed as follows in the indictment:
1 - On December 18th, 2011, ANF news manager İsmet Kayhan called Zeynep Kuray, asking her to receive information from news sources as regards the funerals of “individuals claimed to belong to HPG”, killed in Bingöl and brought to Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute.
2 - On December 18th, 2011, after speaking to Kayhan, Kuray had a phone call with a news source working in the Forensic Medicine Institute. The name of Kuray’s confidential news source was revealed in the indictment.
3 - A telephone conversation between Kuray and a doctor from the Forensic Medicine Institute on December 18th, 2011 to make a rendezvous.
According to the indictment, following these phone calls, Kuray was followed by plain-clothes police officers, and the meeting between Kuray and the doctor was recorded. The police followed Kuray and her news source from 17:50 until 23:55.
4 - On December 18th, 2011, Kuray called ANF editor Kayhan to say that she had sent the news article.
The indictment lists every action by Kuray from 17.50 until 23.55, and indicates, based on wiretapping records numbered 1-2-3-4 that Kuray communicated the information she gathered to the news agency, leading to the news article “Whey were the bodies of 8 HPG members taken to İstanbul?” In addition, two paragraphs of the news article in question were quoted. Kayhan was claimed to be the “Press Committee’s Europe Officer and also an ANF manager”. Kuray was accused of “accessing a news source upon the instruction of Kayhan”. It was also emphasized in the indictment that Kuray mentioned the news source as “my source”. It was alleged that “the news story manipulated the public opinion to spread the idea that Turkish Republic used chemical weapons, so as to provoke a section of the populace against the state”.
5 - A phone call from an employee of Van Municipality on October 25th, 2011, where that individual provides information to Kuray about the bank accounts opened for the solidarity campaign regarding the Van earthquake, and asks her to forward the updated account numbers to ANF and Roj TV.
6 - On October 25th, 2011, Kuray calls ANF editor Kayhan to pass on the information mentioned in the wiretapping record no. 5. Kayhan indicates that he cannot publish the bank account numbers on ANF since the information is not reliable, saying “You are a journalist: You did your work, but I am not publishing it. That’s all.”
In his assessment of the records no. 5-6, the prosecutor stated that “Kuray passed on the bank account number to the terror group’s Europe Officer Kayhan so as to reach out to the masses supporting the group”.
7 - On October 25th, 2011, a short phone call where Kuray called someone and said “The TV people abroad will call you from abroad”. According to the prosecution’s assessment, this wiretapping record meant that Kuray informed someone that “the terror organization-linked Roj TV, which broadcasts from abroad, would call him.”
8- A bulk season’s greeting message to Kuray on November 6th, 2011, which also touches upon the Van earthquake.
In his assessment, the prosecutor said, “In the message the area including the province of Van is designated as Kurdistan”.
9- On November 25th, 2011, a phone call from Kuray to ANF editor Kayhan, where she “reported that three lawyers detained in the KCK operation were not granted the right to act as lawyers in the prosecutor’s office”, and gave the prosecutor’s name.
The prosecutor stated that during the investigation, “Kuray was at the courthouse, and instantly reported the alleged problems between the prosecution and the defense lawyers to the media outlet of the organization.” It was emphasized that Kuray said on the phone “the prosecutor is such a nuisance” and claimed that “she allowed terror groups to target the investigation prosecutor by giving his name”.
10- On July 5th, 2009, Kuray talked with a DİHA reporter about a protest that they would both cover.
The prosecutor stated that in the said protest “PKK/KONGRA-GEL slogans were chanted”, Molotov cocktails were thrown, and that Kuray “got word of this protest in advance and informed the DİHA reporter.”
11- A phone call dated December 11th, 2009, where Kuray asks a DİHA reporter “whether he will come to the protest or not”.
The prosecutor stated that in this protest 50-60 people gathered before the Democratic Congress Party’s Istanbul office, chanted slogans in in support of Abdullah Öcalan and blocked the road, before being dispersed by riot police.”
12- A phone call with a DİHA reporter on December 27th, 2009 about a protest that they were to cover together.
The prosecutor stated that Kuray “guided the DİHA correspondent to the protest” and that “after the protest some of the protestors attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs” and a “water canon was set on fire”.
13- On January 3rd, 2010, a telephone conversation with a DİHA reporter about a protest to be covered.
The prosecutor stated that “it was seen that this time the DİHA reporter guided Kuray to the protest”.
14- On July 30th, 2011, an individual called Kuray asking if her daughter figured in the group photo in the news article titled “Photos compiled from archives contain snapshots of the guerrilla struggle between 1984-99”.
The prosecutor said that in this news story 74 photos of members of the terror group were published, adding “It was observed that Kuray called the individual X to look at these photos, and had a conversation with his daughter named Havin.”
15- On July 30th, 2011 the individual that Kuray had called called her back, saying that his brother was in the photo, and Kuray said in response that he could obtain a high resolution version of the photo from ANF.
The prosecutor said that Kuray “showed the photographs of the members of the terrorist organization, and told her interlocutor that he could obtain the photographs from Kayhan, which she called ‘my manager’.”
16- On November 2nd, 2011, Kuray called Erdal Er from ANF to get him to tell the BDP Van deputy Özdal Üçer that she works for ANF. The prosecutor stated that “Erdal, who was working at ANF, informed Özdal Üçer about the news story by Kuray; Üçer said that he did not know Kuray; and then Erdal said that Zeynep was working for ANF, saying ‘It is ok, she is our colleague’.”
17- On December 11th, 2011, a phone call about the payment to be made as regards the news stories and travel expenses, and then on her journalistic reflexes and news priorities.
The prosecutor stated that Kuray “worked for the people not just for money, and that she tried to cover news stories about the terror organization.”
18- A short conversation between Kuray and an unspecified individual on December 13th, 2011. The prosecutor said that the person whom Kuray spoke to used a nom de guerre.
19- A telephone conversation with the ANF news manager on December 14th, 2011 where she complained that her news stories were published with delay on ANF.
The prosecutor stated that the news manager whom Kuray spoke to was among the “leading names of the group in Europe”.
20- On December 17th, 2011, she spoke to ANF editor Kayhan saying that she sent the article titled “40-day old baby tastes state terror” and was working on other news articles (one about a harassment case at Turkish Airlines, and the other is unclear).
The prosecutor claimed that “Kuray was reporting news according to the instructions by Kayhan, and that her general aim was penning news that would put Turkish State in a difficult and humiliating position.”
21- On December 18th, 2011, while investigating “how the bodies of alleged HPG members were brought to the Forensic Medicine Institute”, Kuray had a phone call with an individual named H., whose identity is not specified.
The prosecutor stated that Kuray “investigated how members of the terror organization died and why they were brought to Istanbul; and referred to them as guerrillas”.
22- On December 18th, 2011, she had another call with a news source while investigating “how members of the organization died and were brought to Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute”.
The prosecutor stated, “she was following the same news story”.
23- On December 19th, 2011, she shared with the ANF editor İsmet Kayhan the information she collected about the bodies brought to the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute.
24- On December 19th, 2011, she had a phone call with another news source about the bodies brought to Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute.
25- On December 19th, 2011, she called ANF editor Kayhan, telling him that she sent him a news article on how the police battered the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan.
The prosecutor claimed that Kuray “was trying to make news stories that would cause confusion and provocation amongst the public.” In the section where he examined the e-mails of Kuray, the prosecutor mentioned her 3 e-mail conversations with ANF editor Kayhan. In addition, the prosecutor cited in the indictment an email conversation where Kayhan asked another journalist about Zeynep Kuray’s relationship with Alp Kuray.
The prosecutor emphasized that Kayhan addressed Zeynep Kuray as “Zeynep”, and that Kuray introduced herself as “Zeynep Kuray from Fırat News Agency” while contacting news sources.
It was stated that Kuray contacted Kayhan 1356 times over MSN, and that 18 other journalists in the “KCK Press” case were also in contact with Kayhan.
In the indictment, the prosecutor listed the following news stories by Kuray published on ANF, which allegedly “spread terrorist propaganda”:
1- The news story titled “If the public does not act, the killer police will be acquitted” dated April 30th, 2011.
2- The news story titled “Here are KCK’s Crimes: Setting up a tent, performing salah, organizing a press conference” dated October 10, 2011.
3- The news story titled “Exile Torment for Hüseyin Karakaş, PKK prisoner” dated December 15th, 2011.
4- The news story titled “Arrested for membership of a non-existent organization” dated December 8th, 2011
5- The news story titled “Torture with razors and knives in prison” dated December 5th, 2011.
6- The news story titled “The prosecutor’s grounds for objection: I just wanted to take a chance” dated December 1st, 2011.
7- The news story titled “Kılıç: If the lawyers had received instructions, why were they allowed to visit Öcalan?” dated November 28th, 2011.
8- The news story titled “Questions about Tuncay Günay asked to the driver of lawyers” dated November 27th, 2011.
9- The news story titled “Ercan Kanar: Turkey has become a state of detention” dated November 18th, 2011.
The prosecutor claimed that the “common denominator” in these news stories was “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization”. In addition, he stated that Kuray presented “the KCK operations as political operations” and “the judges, prosecutors and police officers running these operations as political conspirators”.
He claimed that “the stories were designed to discredit the state’s judiciary and police units in the eyes of the public, and thus to argue that the operations against KCK are wrong.”
The following news stories and accompanying photos were added to the indictment as a result of the examination of the electronic devices seized in house search:
1- The file containing the news article signed by Zeynep Kuray, titled “All dissidents placed in the ‘Revolutionary Headquarters’ basket”.
2- Two separate stories allegedly denigrating Turks and Turkishness (written by another individual.)
3- Numerous news stories and photographs by Kuray. The prosecutor claimed that “the news stories were in line with the mission of the terror organization” and the photos were “terror organization-linked photos”.
4- Kuray’s news stories about the “Kurdish question”.
In his assessment, the prosecutor emphasized that Kuray “designated the members of the organization as guerrillas”. He said that she claimed “in various separatist and provocative articles that assimilation towards the Kurds extended even to kindergartens, Police officers supposedly tortured Kurdish and Alevi people, and acted in a racist manner.”
5- Photos taken at various protests and rallies, photos of guerrillas, and photos of an interview with the retired full general Çetin Doğan.
6- A 67-page report drafted by Human Rights Association (İHD) Commission Against Disappearances Under Custody.
7- An Environmental Impact Assessment report
8- Photos of various demos and protests in different cities
9- Photos from Hrant Dink commemorations (described as “celebrations on the death anniversary of Hrant Dink” in the indictment).
10- Pictures of CHP deputy Mehmet Sevigen and BDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel.
11- Photos from Turkish Communist Party’s protest rally against NATO
12- Photographs of the BDP rally organized around the slogan “More boycott, more democracy”
13- Photos from the panel discussion titled “The Issue of Interlocutors in the Kurdish Question, and Democratic Autonomy” attended by Diyarbakır Metropolitan Mayor, BDP, ESP and EMEP officials.
14- Photos of scholar Büşra Ersanlı
15- Photos from the “Return to Life Operation” against hunger strikers in prisons dated December 19th, 2000
16- Photos of Abdullah Öcalan
17- Photos of protests staged as journalist Hrant Dink’s suspected killers were brought to court
18- Labor Day photos
19- Photos of demonstrations and rallies organized by BDP
20- Photos of demonstrations organized by the relatives of disappeared individuals
21- Photos from the meeting titled “Alliance of Civilizations: 2. Forum”
22- Photos of Ogün Samast, the murder suspect in Hrant Dink’s assassination
23- Photos from protests by various unions and non-governmental organizations (many photos from various hard disks, flash memories and CDs)
24- Photos from Silivri Prison
25- Photographs of Labor Party executives during a press release
26- Photos of Israel’s attacks on Palestine
27- Photos of protests against Yunus Söylet, who was appointed Istanbul University president
28- Photos from protests involving BDP deputies Gülten Kışanak and Ahmet Türk, as regards the Hrant Dink murder investigation
29- Photos of Metin Göktepe
30- Photos of People’s Front and strikes
31- Photographs from the protest organized by CHP deputy Mehmet Sevigen and independent deputy Ufuk Uras against the illegal constructions by the municipality
32- Photographs from a funeral attended by Hakan Karadağ, a lawyer in the Hrant Dink case
33- Photographs from trade union confederation DİSK’s rallies
34- Photographs from sit-ins by Student Collectives organized in Galatasaray, Istanbul
35- Photographs from the demonstrations about Hasan Ocak, who was lost under custody and killed, and photographs from the commemorations at his tomb
36- Photographs from protests by Youth Platform for Fraternity of Peoples, and trade union confederation KESK rallies
37- Footage from the funeral ceremony of journalist İlhan Selçuk
38- European Social Forum photos
39- Photographs showing Zeynep Kuray with BDP deputy Gültan Kışanak
40- Photos of protests before the Forensic Medicine Institute
41- Photos of university students’ protests for the repeal of tuition fees
42- A Word document titled “Ergenekon”.
43- Photos of press statements in front of Silivri Prison
44- Photos of protests by People’s Houses
45- Photos of Arçelik workers’ wildcat strike
46- Photographs from the “The common enemy is America” protest by the Peoples and Liberties Front
47- A documentary titled “They died to let live”
48- Texts of flyers titled “Joint call by political parties”, “Remove the election threshold”
49- Photos of riot police taking people into custody
50- Photos of Nevruz celebrations
To this long list, the prosecutor also added previously banned publications found in the house search. He claimed that the handwritten notes showed that “she was in contact with the organization”.
Protests followed and covered by Zeynep Kuray were also listed in the indictment.
The prosecutor’s office indicated that Police Photo & Film Department examined the protest footage and saw that Kuray was “seen amongst the protesting group”. Emphasizing that the news penned by Kuray regarding these protests were published by ANF, the prosecutor claimed that she “provoked citizens of Kurdish origin to organize mass rallies”.
The protests that Kuray participated in and the news she published on ANF were listed as follows in the indictment:
1- The protest organized “against Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation” in Beyoğlu, Istanbul on November 2nd, 2008, the related news stories titled “Police attacks DTP members”, “Protesters in Istanbul set up roadblocks” and “33 demonstrators detained in Tarlabaşı and Taksim”, dated November 2nd, 2008.
2- News published on ANF, titled “Rally by Unity for Democracy Movement in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district” and “‘We Want a Democratic Solution’ Rally in Istanbul”, dated December 5th, 2012.
3- On January 16th, 2011, the news story published by ANF titled “Tarlabaşı and Dolapdere turn into a battlefield” concerning the protest by the BDP and the events after the protest, featuring Kuray’s photos.
4- On March 27th, 2011, Kuray passed information to ANF and Roj Tv about a protest by Istanbul Democratic City Council and BDP, where a tent was set up in Gezi. (The title of the news story was not mentioned in the indictment)
5- On April 4th, 2011, Kuray passed information to ANF and Roj Tv about a protest that took place in Beyoğlu against “KCK” arrests. (The title of the news story was not mentioned in the indictment)
6- The news story titled “Violent clashes in Istanbul” published on ANF about the protest organized in Taksim Square, Istanbul concerning the “KCK trial” to be held in Diyarbakır on April 19, 2011. The other relevant news stories published by ANF on the protest, titled “Gas bombs thrown from helicopters” and “Police turned the place into a gas chamber”, featuring photos by Kuray.
7- News story complete with photographs by Kuray, titled “Thousands rise in Istanbul upon the death of 12 guerillas” concerning a protest against the killing of 12 individuals in Şırnak, Uludere, attended by MPs as well.
8- A news story dated August 21st, 2011 and titled “Governor’s Office establishes State of Emergency in Taksim” published on ANF, concerning a rally by BDP in Beyoğlu and featuring photos by Kuray.
9- ANF news stories featuring Kuray’s photos, titled “Repression at September 1st rally in İstanbul”, “Police turns Day of Peace into a day of war”, “Images of police violence in Kadıköy”, about the September 1st, 2009 International Day of Peace Rally held in Kadıköy.
10- ANF news story featuring Kuray’s photos about the protests of October 18th, 2011 in Beyoğlu against the prevention of Abdullah Öcalan from seeing his lawyers, titled “Sırrı Süreyya Önder: Police collects ID’s when it comes to Kurds”.
The indictment’s section on Kuray featured claims by the secret witness nicknamed Bahar. Allegedly, Kuray was “among the names active in the Press Committee”. The secret witness Bahar was claimed to say that “Zeynep Kuray is the daughter of Sarp Kuray”, and “She writes news stories for Özgür Gündem, ANF and DİHA, and collaborates with İsmet Kayhan”.
In the judiciary assessment section, the prosecutor based his argument that Kuray was active in the so-called Press Committee on the fact that she was a correspondent with ANF and had 1356 conversations with ANF editor Kayhan.
Kuray was once again accused of “investigating the transportation to Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute of the bodies of 8 supposed PKK members killed in İstanbul” in December 2011.
The prosecutor further claimed that “Kuray published stories in defense of the terror organization with a view to inciting the populace to violence and hatred, upon the instructions of Kayhan”.
Prosecutor argued that Kuray “did not act like a journalist while reporting, but instead tried to confirm prefabricated results in accordance with the instructions given to her.”
The prosecutor accused Kuray of “spreading propaganda for a terror organization by presenting the news about KCK operation as if the operation targeted all Kurdish citizens”, “participating in social protests as an ANF officer to pen propagandistic news stories” and “contributing to all the news stories.”
The prosecutor charged Kuray of “membership of an armed terror organization” as per Turkish Penal Code, Article 314/2, requesting 5 to 10 years in prison. He further demanded that the prison sentence be increased by half pursuant to Anti-Terror Law Article 5. In total, she faces 7 years 6 months to 15 years of prison for “membership of an armed terror organization”.
The prosecutor also requests that Kuray be deprived of certain rights as per Turkish Penal Code, Article 53.
The “KCK Press Trial”, marked by debates on the right to defense in the mother tongue, were held at 15th High Criminal Court with Special Authority (10 episodes consisting of 32 sessions) from September 10th, 2012 to March 3rd, 2014. The hearings started at Çağlayan Courthouse and were moved to the courtroom in the Silivri campus on November 12th, 2012. From March 26th, 2014 to January 11th, 2018, 15 hearings were held at Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court located in the Çağlayan Courthouse.
Defendants detained in different prisons, including ANF reporter Zeynep Kuray, were brought to Silivri for the hearings planned to last many days. After the trials ended, they were taken back to their prisons by road.
At the beginning of the trial, protests took place within the courtroom upon the rejection of requests for defense in the mother tongue. Afterwards, all journalists detained under the “KCK” investigation and their lawyers started a hunger strike. Defendants continued to respond in Kurdish and Zazaki during ID confirmation.
Frequently debates and protests erupted during the hearings, lawyers’ microphones were turned off, and the courtroom was evacuated upon the orders of the judge. 15. High Criminal Court filed six charges against the audience, lawyers and defendants for allegedly “protesting the court by applause” or “making statements that go beyond the limits of defense to constitute crime”.
It took six hearings to read out loud the 800-page indictment, and the 185-page indictment against two other defendants whose files were merged with the main case. The indictments were read out in turns by two TRT announcers, mainly to an empty hall. When the reading out of the indictments was completed at the 12th session on April 22nd, 2013, 11 of the 37 prisoners had been released.
In the 12th session on April 22nd, 2013, translators from the Kurdish Institute, which the lawyers had invited for interpretation from Kurdish were also in attendance. DİHA editor Ertuş Bozkurt, one of the detained defendants, read out the 25-page Kurdish defense drafted on behalf of all defendants. Detained defendants presented their individual defenses after this joint defense. The defense of the detained defendants was completed at the 17th hearing on June 18th, 2013. The defendants who were not detained commenced their defenses at the 19th hearing on September 25th, 2013, after the completion of the statements of lawyers of the detained defendants
At the 15th hearing of the trial on April 26th, 2013, Kuray’s lawyer Tamer Doğan took the floor and pointed out that the indictment was made up of wiretapping records, secret witness statements and news stories. Doğan stated that, “If the words ‘so-called’ and ‘allegedly’ were taken out of the indictment, it would become evident that the suspects are only journalists.”
He stated that Kuray is the only ANF reporter among the defendants, that “just like Özgür Politika and Roj TV, ANF is an institution established abroad legally according to the laws of the host country,” and not an “illegal” organization.
He said that it was natural for Kuray to have 1356 conversations with İsmet Kayhan, since he is the news director of a media outlet which is not based in Turkey.
Doğan criticized the fact that the indictment presents a reporter’s receiving instructions from her news manager as a criminal act, and stated that his client Kuray continued to report from the prison where she was kept under the scope of this trial.
Lawyer Doğan indicated that Kuray was charged with “denigrating the state in the international arena, and putting the state in a difficult situation”, emphasizing that “it is this case which actually puts the state in a difficult situation.”
Doğan also criticized the fact that the indictment revealed the name of Kuray’s confidential news source at the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute. Reminding that he had drew attention to this issue in previous hearings, Doğan said that the individual in question had been appointed to another city as punishment. Doğan indicated that “If we were to remove the hostile expressions in the indictment, it would become obvious that my client is just a journalist,” requesting the release of Kuray, who was detained for 17 months.
The court ordered the release of the defendants Sadık Topaloğlu and Kuray, “taking into consideration the time that they were kept in prison and the state of the evidence.” The ban on Kuray’s going abroad was lifted at the first hearing held on July 10th, 2014 at Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court in Çağlayan Courthouse.
Kuray presented her defense at the 27th session held on December 3rd, 2013. The president of the panel of judges, addressed all the other defendants with their names and surnames, but addressed to Kuray as “Zeynep”, as attested in the minutes.
Kuray started her defense by explaining why she spoke in Kurdish during the ID confirmation: She said, “All languages which are denied the right to exist are my own”, and pointed to the importance of mother tongue with examples from her childhood in France.
Afterwards Kuray stated that she wanted to address the problems in the judicial system in Turkey, and gave examples of impunity ranging “from the abuses against Pozantı children’s prison to the assassination of Hrant Dink.”
Emphasizing that the pretext presented for her arrest is nothing but journalistic activity, Kuray added “The mainstream media does not cover the ‘Kurdish question’ in its reality, but simply spreads the misinformation generated by the state”. She said that as a result, “the mainstream media is granted journalism awards for making headlines about Öcalan’s letters, while the Kurdish media professionals stand trial for the very same news stories.”
Referring to the allegations against her, Kuray explained that it is not possible for a reporter not to speak frequently with her news manager, and that it is only natural for her to have had many conversations with news manager Kayhan.
As for the allegation that “She penned news stories upon instruction,” she indicated that it is in the nature of journalism for reporters to hold joint meetings, and for news managers to make suggestions to reporters.
She indicated that the dialogues depicted as “news stories penned upon instruction” and presented as a criminal act in the indictment are a regular means of communication employed by all news managers and reporters on a daily basis about various topics.
Kuray stated that the information that Kayhan requested from her as regards the bodies brought to the Forensic Medicine Institute is what any journalist should seek to uncover in such a case, and that the personal discussions between Kayhan and herself are also added to the file in the form of 1800 pages of wiretapping records. She added that “It was not normal for the bodies of 8 HPG members killed in Malatya to be brought to the Forensic Medicine Institute of not Malatya but Istanbul,” this event had news value, the families of the killed, and the MPs had serious concerns, and it had to be investigated whether these individuals were killed with chemical weapons or not.”
Kuray said that after discussing this issue with Kayhan, she started to explore the matter as a journalist and then called first the Human Rights Association, and then her news source at Forensic Medicine Institute. She said that it was normal for her to have a phone call with her colleague at DİHA about how to follow the protest rallies on the matter, and that they did not possess police walkie-talkies and special equipment like mainstream media agencies.
Kuray said the following about the inclusion in the indictment of her trivial phone calls with colleagues, such as “Are you asleep, where are you?”: “They have included all such conversations; I did not understand what they were looking for. What are they trying to say? Are we getting organized, is that what they mean? If that’s the case they have to present the evidence; otherwise there is no need to include such trivial chatter in the indictment!” To which the president of the court Ali Alçık responded, “Zeynep you are breaching the limits of defense. Present your defense, but there is no reason to pick on anyone.”
Kuray discussed all pieces of evidence against her one by one. She said that she had previously carried out an interview with the individual who asked her whether the group guerilla photo published by ANF included her daughter as well (wiretapping record no. 14). Kuray stated that what the prosecutor should be focusing on is not this phone call, but the fact that this individual is still looking for the remains of his daughter. She said that she went to Van as a reporter after the earthquake, and that the phone call about the aid campaign bank account number (wiretapping record no. 5) and the confirmation of her professional identity to the BDP MP (wiretapping record no. 16) were related to this incident.
She explained that her conversations with the news manager about salary payments, editorial policy priority, and news stories to follow / investigate were completely professional in scope, and that this was evident from the wiretapping records included in the indictment.
Referring to dozens of documents presented as evidence in the indictment as a result of the search of her house, Kuray stated that the prosecutor listed everything he found in the indictment without any analysis, including a book published by Doğan Kitap translated from French into Turkish.
She said that hundreds of reporters are photographed while following protest rallies and that “Kurdish media employees are thus profiled”.
She also indicated that the hundreds of photo files listed in the indictment were her personal archive as a photojournalist.
Kuray thus denounced the prosecutor’s claims and described them as “ridiculous”, after which the president of the court intervened and there was a brief spat. President of the court said to Kuray, “You are staging a show here, that’s what.” Afterwards Kuray continued her statements about the protests she followed as a journalist and mentioned in the indictment.
When the president of the court asked Kuray about her statement at the prosecutor’s office, she responded that her statement was written down by the prosecutor in his words, and that her statement was not transcribed fully.
When the president of the court read out loud the name of Kuray’s news source at Forensic Medicine Institute and asked about the individual, Kuray responded that she would file a lawsuit against the police department for revealing the name of the individual in question, who was appointed to another province as punishment. Kuray stated that the other pieces of evidence (her phone calls, and protest rallies covered by her) cited by the president of the court were nothing but profiling, and she requested the return of her photo archives and notebooks.
After the president of the court, the hearing prosecutor took the floor, telling Kuray, “In your defense, you accused and criticized the staff of other newspapers who do not think like you do. They don’t report the way I do, you said. Then you added, ‘Theirs is not journalism, but mine is.’ Well, have you ever reported on the massacres committed by the armed terrorist group PKK?”
Lawyer Ruşen Mahmutoğlu interrupted him, objecting “She does not have to answer this; you cannot ask such a question”
Member of the panel of judges asked Kuray whether she had heard of “KCK/PKK Press Committee” before being taken into custody. Kuray responded “It turns out that Habertürk had published a chart before, but I heard it first from the lawyers after we were taken into custody”.
Judge asked Kuray “whether she knew about Kayhan’s and ANF’s ties to PKK.” Kuray said, “This is a prejudgment by the police. ANF is a news web site.” Uz then asked Kuray about the wiretapping records of her conversations with the ANF news manager İsmet Kayhan. Kuray said that Kayhan’s lawyer would present the defense concerning these records, which included Kayhan’s remarks about his own life.
Then, lawyer Ruşen Mahmutoğlu took the floor, saying that his client was targeted in the media, and asked that issues not linked to the imputed offense be removed from the file.
Lawyer Feyzi Çelik asked for the right to additional defense so as to prepare a detailed statement about documents mentioned only in title, and demanded the return of archives, materials and similar documents not related to the imputed offense.
He indicated that the president of the court’s interruption of the defendant’s defense twice, saying “I will take legal action against you”, was tantamount to a restriction of the right to defense. He indicated that Kuray’s conversations with the ANF editor Kayhan were solely for journalistic purposes and included differences of opinion. He said that Kuray criticized Kayhan frequently, and that this would not be the case if they really had an organizational tie.
The trial continued with the defenses by other detained defendants. Kuray presented her defense in the last session (29th session) of the 8th episode, on December 6th, 2013, and the prosecutor requested that criminal complaints be filed against the defendants Sultan Güneş Ünsal and Zeynep Kuray.
The panel of judges ordered that a writ be sent to Silivri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to “statements that go beyond the limits of legal defense” in due consideration of the entirety of the defenses presented.
The 30th hearing of the trial took place on January 13th, 2014. At the time, there was a hot public debate about whether the Courts with Special Authority were going to be abolished.
Lawyers argued that this debate made controversial the court which conducted the “KCK Press” trial. Due to this reason, lawyers demanded that the proceedings at Istanbul 15th High Criminal Court be suspended and that the detainees be released. The court rejected this demand.
Courts with Special Authority were indeed abolished with a law that came into force on February 21st, 2014.
The last hearing of the “KCK Press Trial” at İstanbul 15th High Criminal Court with Special Authority was held on March 3rd, 2014. The file was then transferred to the Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court.
The lawyers said that upon the abolition of Courts with Special Authority, the trial had lost its legal grounding. They argued that the continuation of these proceedings at high criminal courts was against the Constitution. The Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court indeed referred the file to the Constitutional Court on allegations of unconstitutionality.
The court waited for a response from the Constitutional Court for two hearings. The Constitutional Court sent no answer to the court for 16 months. The court then decided to continue the trial.
In the subsequent hearings, the lawyers reiterated their demand for waiting for the Constitutional Court’s ruling and the acquittal of all defendants. Lawyers said that most of the law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges involved in the investigation and prosecution of the trial before the trial was transferred to Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court were now under arrest or on the run after the July 15th military coup attempt. Lawyers demanded that the legal measures taken against these individuals be included in the file. The court accepted this request. However, the court also ruled that all the other investigations and prosecutions concerning the journalists would also be included in the file.
Of the 46 defendants, only İsmet Kayhan, who is on the run, has not presented his defense in court. Even the “evidence assessment” phase has not been completed yet.
Judicial information about the officials involved in the investigation and prosecution phase has yet to be included in the file. İsmet Kayhan has not been arrested.
Although the lawsuit was launched in September 2012, the prosecution still has not submitted its opinion as to the accusations.
The 16th hearing of the trial took place on May 9th, 2019. The prosecution has still not submitted its opinion as to the accusations although trial began in September 2012.
The 18th hearing was held on February 25th, 2020. Kuray did not attend this hearing.
The 19th hearing of the trial took place on July 2nd. The president of the court stated that the writ sent to the General Secretariat of Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) about the progress in the trial was added to the case file. Accordingly, HSK demanded information from the court for the disciplinary investigation against Bilal Bayraktar, a prosecutor dismissed for alleged “membership of the Fethullahist Terror Organization.” Bayraktar was the prosecutor in charge of indictment and hearings at KCK Press Trial. Journalist Çağdaş Ulus’ lawyer Mehtap Acar Ulus stated that her client was included in the trial via manipulation. She demanded that his file be separated from the collective file and Ulus be acquitted. The court ruled to await the execution of the arrest warrant against İsmet Kayhan, who lives abroad.
The 20th hearing was held on December 1st, 2020. Two members of the panel of judges had changed.
Of the defendant journalists, only İsmail Yıldız (Rawin Sterk) attended the hearing. İstanbul 34th High Criminal Court had decided to merge the case file for “membership of an armed terror organization” and “spreading propaganda in a continuous manner for a terror organization” with the case file of the “KCK Press Trial”. The court stated that it had received the said file.
Lawyer Özcan Kılıç demanded the cancellation of İsmail Yıldız’s overseas travel ban. He requested that Yüksel Genç be relieved from the obligation to attend the hearings. The court accepted both requests.
Mehtap Acar Ulus, the lawyer of journalist Çağdaş Ulus, requested that her client’s trial be separated from the main file. The request was rejected.
The court ruled to lift Yüksel Genç’s obligation to attend the hearings.
The trial was adjourned until the 21st hearing on March 4th, 2021.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected the journalists’ application concerning this file in November 2019, pointing to non-exhaustion of domestic remedies -namely, the filing of an individual application with the Constitutional Court. However, at the time the journalists were arrested and had filed an application with ECHR, it was not yet possible to file an individual application with the Constitutional Court in Turkey. Therefore, the requirement of exhausting the individual application to the Constitutional Court before applying to ECHR did not exist yet.
Saat 09.50’de başlaması gereken duruşma, yaklaşık 15 dakika gecikmeyle, saat 10.05’te başladı. Mahkeme heyetinden iki üyenin değiştiği gözlendi.
Duruşmaya, yargılanan gazetecilerden sadece İsmail Yıldız (Rawin Sterk) katıldı. İstanbul 34. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi, Yıldız hakkında “silahlı terör örgütüne üye olmak” ve “zincirleme şekilde terör örgütü propagandası yapmak” suçlaması ile açılan davanın yargılama dosyasının “KCK Basın Davası” yargılama dosyası ile birleştirilmesine karar vermişti. Bu dosyanın mahkemeye geldiği belirtildi.
Duruşma savcısı, dosyadaki eksiklerin giderilmesini talep etti.
Avukat Özcan Kılıç, İsmail Yıldız hakkında uygulanan yurt dışına çıkış yasağının kaldırılmasını talep etti.
Gazeteci Çağdaş Ulus’un avukatı Mehtap Acar Ulus ise, Ulus hakkındaki yargılama dosyasının ana dosyadan ayrılmasını talep etti.
Mahkeme heyeti, duruşmaya kısa bir ara verdi.
Mahkeme, Yüksel Genç’in duruşmalara katılma zorunluluğunun kaldırılmasına karar verdi.
İsmail Yıldız’ın da yurtdışına çıkış yasağının kaldırılmasına karar verildi.
Çağdaş Ulus hakkındaki yargılama dosyasının ayrılması talebi reddedildi.
Yargılamanın, 4 Mart 2021 tarihinde görülecek 21. duruşma ile devam etmesine karar verildi.
Koronavirüs karşısında alınan önlemler kapsamında, adliyeye; tek sıra halinde girilebildi. Bu düzen, bariyerler ve uyarı yazıları ile sağlandı. Ateş ölçümü ve X-Ray taraması yapıldı.
Duruşmanın yapıldığı salonun önü çok kalabalık değildi. Gazetecilerin, duruşma salonunun önünde beklemesi engellenmedi.
Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları
Mahkeme salonunda; gazeteciler, gözlemciler, avukatlar ve sanıklar için hazırlanan yerler birbirinden ayrıydı.
İzleyiciler için ayrılan her iki oturma yerinden biri, koronavirüs karşısında alınan sosyal mesafe önleminin sağlanması için uyarı yazıları ile kapatılmıştı.
Duruşmayı, Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) gözlemcisi ve bazı internet haber sitelerinin muhabirleri takip etti.
Koronavirüs pandemisi karşısında alınan tedbirler kapsamında, gazetecilerin ve gözlemcilerin duruşma salonuna alınmayacağı belirtildi. Ancak, bu sırada duruşma başlamış, gazeteciler ve gözlemciler duruşma salonundaki yerlerini almıştı. Gazeteci ve gözlemcilerin, bir seferliğine duruşmayı izlemelerine izin verildi.
Mahkeme başkanı gergindi. Taleplerini dile getiren Avukat Özcan Kılıç’a karşı iki kez sesini yükseltti.
Duruşma, gelen evrakların tutanağa geçirilmesiyle başladı.
Mahkeme heyeti başkanı; Hakimler ve Savcılar Kurulu (HSK) Genel Sekreterliği’nden bu yargılamanın geldiği aşama ile ilgili bilginin istendiği yazının dosyaya eklendiğini açıkladı. Buna göre, HSK; “Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü üyesi olduğu” iddiasıyla meslekten çıkarılan savcı Bilal Bayraktar ile ilgili disiplin soruşturması için mahkemeden bilgi istiyordu. Savcı Bayraktar, “KCK Basın” yargılamasının soruşturma ve iddianame savcısıydı.
Gazeteci Çağdaş Ulus’un avukatı Mehtap Acar Ulus, Çağdaş Ulus’un bir manipülasyon yoluyla bu davaya dahil edildiğini söyledi. Çağdaş Ulus hakkındaki dosyanın, bu dosyadan ayrılmasını ve Ulus’un beraatini talep etti.
Hakimler ve Savcılar Kurulu‘nun (HSK) savcı Bilal Bayraktar hakkındaki disiplin soruşturması kapsamında, “KCK Basın” yargılamasıyla ilgili gelişmelerin ve kararın HSK Genel Sekreterliği’ne bildirilmesine yönelik yazı, dosyaya eklendi.
“FETÖ üyesi olduğu” iddiasıyla meslekten çıkartılan savcı Bayraktar, “KCK Basın” dosyasının da soruşturma ve iddianame savcısıydı.
Çağdaş Ulus müdafii avukat Mehtap Acar Ulus, müvekkili hakkında beraat talebiyle yazılı beyan sundu. Ulus’un dosyasının KCK Basın dosyasından ayrılmasını talep etti.
Diğer sanık müdafiileri, bu aşamada bir talepleri olmadığını söyledi.
Mahkeme, Çağdaş Ulus’un dosyasının ayrılması yönündeki talebini reddetti.
HSK’nın iddianame savcısı Bilal Bayraktar hakkında yürüttüğü disiplin soruşturması için, yargılamanın her aşamasının HSK Genel Sekreterliği’ne bildirilmesine karar verildi.
Ayrıca, sanıklardan yurtdışında ikamet eden İsmet Kayhan hakkındaki yakalama kararının yerine getirilmesinin beklenmesine karar verildi.
Yargılamanın, 1 Aralık 2020 tarihinde görülecek 20. duruşma ile devam etmesine karar verildi.
Güvenlik görevlisi, bariyerlerin geçilmesine izin verdi. Duruşma öncesi salonun önü boştu. Avukatlar tam duruşma saatinde, salonun önüne geldi.
Avukatlardan birinin beklenmesine karar verildi. Avukatın, o sırada başka bir mahkemede karar beklediği için geciktiği belirtildi.
Duruşma 10 dakika gecikmeli başladı.
Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları
Mahkeme salonunda yaklaşık 25 kişilik oturma alanı vardı. “Koronavirüs” pandemisi karşısında alınan tedbirleri kapsamında, sosyal mesafenin sağlanması için sandalyelere birer aralıkla bantlar çekilmişti.
Duruşmaya, Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) ve Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası’ndan gözlemciler katıldı.
Duruşma 18 dakika sürdü.
Pandemi nedeniyle izleme alanında fiziksel mesafe önlemleri alınmıştı ancak salonda bulunan mahkeme başkanı, iki heyet üyesi, savcı ve katip arasında sadece bir mahkeme heyeti üyesi maskesini takıyordu.
Mahkeme başkanı duruşma boyunca mikrofonunu kullanmadı ve kısık sesle konuştu. Söyledikleri izleyiciler tarafından duyulmadı.
Duruşma öngörülen saatten 10 dakika sonra başladı, karar için verilen 5 dakikalık ara dahil, toplam 35 dakika sürdü.
Duruşmaya, Ses ve Görüntülü Bilişim Sistemi (SEGBİS) ile katılması beklenen Yüksel Genç, mahkeme salonunda hazır bulundu. Genç, yaptığı savunmayı ayrıca yazılı olarak da sundu.
Genç savunmasında, hakkında İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen ve daha sonra “KCK Basın” ile birleştirilen dosyanın iddianamesine tepki gösterdi. Demokratik Toplum Kongresi (DTK) kuruculuğuyla suçlandığı bu dosyadaki deliller arasında hakkındaki teknik takip delillerinin de gösterildiğini, ancak kendisinin o tarihlerde “KCK Basın” davasından tutuklu olduğunu açıkladı.
DTK’da 2009-2011 arası görev yaptığını ve DTK’nın yasadışı bir yapı olmadığını söyledi, suçlamaları reddetti. TBMM Anayasa Komisyonu’nun DTK’dan resmi olarak görüş istediğine dair belgeyi mahkemeye sundu.
Sanıklardan Hüseyin Deniz de salonda hazır bulundu. Deniz bu aşamada söyleyecek bir şeyi olmadığını ifade etti.
Ardından Çağdaş Ulus’un avukatlığını üstlenen eşi sözü aldı. Ulus’la 5 senedir tanıştıklarını, çocuklarının 1 yaşında olduğunu ancak bu davanın halen devam ettiğini söyledi. Ayrıca eşi Ulus’un 2011’de gözaltına alınmadan birkaç ay önce zorunlu askerlik hizmetini yerine getirdiğini anlattı; teröristlikle suçlanmasına tepki gösterdi. Dosyasının ayrılmasını talep etti.
Ardından söz alan diğer tüm sanıklar müdafii Özcan Kılıç, öncelikle Yüksel Genç’in duruşmalardan vareste tutulmasını talep etti. Sanıklardan Ziya Çiçekçi hakkında açılan başka bir dosyanın birleştirilmesini de istedi.
Kılıç, müvekkillerinin DTK üyesi olmakla suçlandığını, ancak DTK’nın yasadığı bir yapı olmadığını anlattı. DTK’nın yasadışı bir örgüt olup olmadığının tespit edilmesini talep etti.
Avukat Kılıç, “KCK Basın’ dosyasının soruşturma aşamasında gözaltına alınan, o dönem AFP (Agence France Presse, Fransız Haber Ajansı) muhabiri Mustafa Özer’in MİT ajanı olduğunun ortaya çıktığını” iddia etti. İlk başta şüpheli listesinde yer alan ancak şu an dosyada bulunmayan Özer’in mahkeme huzurunda dinlenmesini talep etti.
Mahkeme karar için 5 dakika ara verdi.
Mahkeme sanıkların ve müdafilerinin tüm taleplerini reddetti.
İsmet Kayhan hakkındaki yakalama emrinin infazının beklenmesine karar verdi.
Bir sonraki duruşma 2 Temmuz 2020 saat 10.00’da görülecek.
Duruşmadan birkaç dakika önce polis barikatı açılarak gazetecilerin salon önüne geçişine izin verildi.
Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları
Mahkeme salonu yaklaşık 30 kişilikti. Mahkeme başkanı mikrofon kullanmadı ve duruşmada konuşulan hiçbir şey izleyici bölümünden duyulmadı.
Duruşmaya sanık müdafii olarak sekiz avukat katıldı. Duruşmayı; Gazetecileri Koruma Komitesi (CPJ), P24 ve Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) temsilcileri takip etti.
Duruşma öngörülen saatten 10 dakika sonra başladı, karar için verilen 5 dakikalık ara dahil, toplam 35 dakika sürdü.
Duruşma devam ederken, bir sonraki duruşmanın SEGBİS bağlantısı kuruldu ve SEGBİS’le bağlanan kişi kendi duruşmasını bekledi.
Duruşma esnasında mahkeme başkanının sanıklardan Yüksel Genç’e “sen” diyerek hitap etmesine bir avukat itiraz etti. Mahkeme başkanı “Bu sen-siz tartışması yıllardır sürüyor” dedi ve “sen” ifadesinin sıkıntılı bir ifade olmadığını söyleyerek duruşmaya devam etti.
Mahkeme karar için ara verdiğinde salon boşaltıldı. Ancak savcının salonda oturuyordu. 5 dakika sonra salonun kapısı açıldı. Mahkeme başkanının bir sonraki duruşma tarihini söylemesiyle duruşma sona erdi. Mahkeme başkanı erkek, heyetin iki üyesi kadın hakimdi.
Bir önceki duruşmada, sanıklardan Yüksel Genç hakkında İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen dosyanın KCK Basın dosyasıyla birleştirilmesi talebi, İstanbul 3. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi tarafından reddedilmişti.
İki duruşma arasında, İstinaf Mahkemesi; Genç hakkındaki iki dosyanın İstanbul 3. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde birleştirilmesine resen karar verdi.
Yargılamanın 17. duruşması, bu kararın dosyaya eklenmesiyle başladı. Yeni dosya eklendiği için Genç’in tekrar savunma sunması istendi. Avukat Özcan Kılıç, Genç’in savunması için Diyarbakır’da hazır edileceğini ifade etti.
Sanıklardan Ziya Çiçekçi hakkında, “terör örgütü yayınlarını basmak ve yayınlamak” suçlamasıyla İstanbul 15. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde görülen dosyanın İstanbul 3. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde birleştirilmesi için muvafakat (kabul etme) yazısı geldi. Avukat Özcan Kılıç da dosyaların birleştirilmesi talebinde bulundu.
Avukat Mehtap Acar Ulus, FETÖ suçlamasıyla yargılanan ve etkin pişmanlıktan yararlanan bir emniyet müdürünün, müvekkili Çağdaş Ulus’un sahte delillerle tutuklandığına dair ifadelerinin olduğunu belirtti ve bu konudaki delilleri mahkemeye sundu. Müvekkili Ulus’un dosyasının ayrılmasını talep etti.
Mahkeme, sanıklardan Yüksel Genç’in bir sonraki duruşmada savunmasını Ses ve Görüntü Bilişim Sistemi üzerinden (SEGBİS) sunmak üzere Diyarbakır’da bir mahkemede hazır edilmesi için talimat yazılmasına karar verdi.
Çağdaş Ulus’un dosyasının ayrılması yönündeki talebi reddetti. Ziya Çiçekçi’nin dosyasının birleştirilmesi talebini de reddetti.
İsmet Kayhan hakkındaki yakalama kararının infazının beklenmesine de karar veren mahkeme bir sonraki duruşmanın 25 Şubat 2020 saat 10.30’da görüleceğini açıkladı.
Duruşma öncesi gazetecilerin bir kısmının barikattan geçip mahkeme salonu önünde beklemesine izin verildi.
Mahkeme salonu önü kalabalıklaştıktan sonra ise barikattan geçişler kapatıldı. İki gazetecinin salon önüne yaklaşkasına duruşma başladığı ana kadar izin verilmedi.
Gazeteciler ve güvenlik görevlileri arasında tartışma yaşandı. Gazetecilerden biri, güvenlik görevlisine “keyfi davrandığını” söyledi. Bunun üzerine güvenlik görevlisi barikatı kapatarak “Sadece senin geçişine izin vermiyorum, keyfi değil mi” dedi.
Duruşmanın başlamasıyla, güvenlik şefi gelerek, gazetecilerin içeri girişini sağladı.
Mahkeme Salonu koşulları
Mahkeme salonu katılımcı sayısına göre genişti. Mahkeme başkanı mikrofon kullanmadı ve duruşmada konuşulan hiçbir şey izleyici bölümünden duyulmadı.
Duruşmaya sanık müdafii olarak altı avukat katıldı. Duruşmayı, P24 ve Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) temsilcileri ve gazeteciler takip etti.
Duruşma öngörülen saatten 40 dakika sonra başladı, 25 dakika sürdü.
Salona girdikten sonra yaklaşık 10 dakika boyunca mahkeme katibi dosyayla ilgili telefonda konuştu. İzleyici bölümünden sadece “Burası terör mahkemesi değil” cümlesi duyuldu.
Avukatlar, konuşmanın; sanıklardan Yüksel Genç’in İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde açılan dava dosyasının KCK Basın dosyasıyla birleştirilmesiyle ilgili olduğunu açıkladı.
Duruşma başladığında, avukatlardan biri başka bir adliyede de duruşması olduğu için ayrılacağını ifade etti. Bunun üzerine mahkeme başkanı öfkelendi, birkaç dakikalık bir tartışma yaşandı.
Mahkeme karar için ara verdiğinde salon boşaltıldı. Beş dakika sonra salonun kapısı açıldı. Mahkeme başkanının bir sonraki duruşma tarihini söylemesiyle duruşma sona erdi.
Mahkeme heyeti üyelerinden biri değişmişti. Mahkeme başkanı erkek, heyetin iki üyesi kadın hakimdi.
Mahkeme Başkanı, mikrofon kullanmadığı için 10 dakika süren duruşma boyunca katılımcılar çok az şey duyabildi.
Daha sonra duruşma tutanağından edinilen bilgiye göre, İstanbul İl Emniyet Müdürlüğü’nün sanık Dilek Demiral’ın pasaportu üzerindeki şerhin kaldırılması şeklindeki işlemlerin devam ettiği yönünde cevabı dosyaya eklendi.
Ayrıca “KCK Basın” soruşturmasını yürüten emniyet görevlileri hakkında görevi kötüye kullanma suçlamasıyla İstanbul 26. Asliye Ceza Mahkemesinde görülen yargılamanın devam ettiğine dair cevap ve duruşma zaptı örneği de mahkemeye ulaştı. Avukat Özcan Kılıç, Ocak 2019’da görülen bir önceki duruşmada bu davanın akıbetinin öğrenilmesini talep etmişti.
Mahkeme Başkanı, sanıklardan Yüksel Genç hakkında İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde bir dava açıldığını ve İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nin kendilerine birleştirme kararı gönderdiğini söyledi. Mahkeme Başkanı, İstanbul 3. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi heyeti olarak birleştirmeye onay vermediklerini söyledi.
Duruşma savcısı, bu duruşmada da esas hakkındaki mütalaasını açıklamadı; eksiklerin giderilmesini mütalaa etti.
Mahkeme ara vermeden, kararını açıkladı.
Sanıklardan Yüksel Genç hakkında İstanbul 14. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’nde açılan davanın İstanbul 3. Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi’ndeki dosyayla birleştirilmesini kabul etmeyen mahkeme, dosyayı İstanbul Bölge Adliye Mahkemesi’ne gönderdi.
Bir sonraki duruşmanın 22 Ekim 2019 saat 10.00’a bırakılmasına karar verildi.
Avukatlar ve iki muhabirin salona girmesinin ardından salonun kapısı kapandı. Kapı kapandıktan sonra gelen izleyicilerin içeri alınmasına zorluk çıkarıldı.
Duruşmaya altı avukat katıldı. Duruşmayı; P24, Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) ve Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası’ndan temsilciler ve muhabirler takip etti.
Mahkeme başkanı mikrofon kullanmadığı için, izleyici alanından sadece, sanıklardan Yüksel Genç’in dosyası ile ilgili konuşmalar ve bir sonraki duruşma tarihi duyulabildi.
Duruşma 10 dakika sürdü.
Duruşma saatinde başladı ve 10 dakika sürdü.
Avukat Özcan Kılıç “KCK Basın” soruşturmasını yürüten emniyet görevlileri hakkında “görevi kötüye kullanma” suçlamasıyla İstanbul 26. Asliye Ceza Mahkemesi’nde açılan davanın akıbetinin öğrenilmesini talep etti.
“KCK Basın” soruşturmasını yürüten emniyet görevlileri hakkında “görevi kötüye kullanma” suçlamasıyla İstanbul 26. Asliye Ceza Mahkemesi’nde açılan davanın akıbetinin sorulmasına karar verildi.
Dava, 9 Mayıs 2019 gününe bırakıldı.
Duruşma öngörülen saatte başladı. Öncesinde sanık gazeteciler ile duruşmayı takibe gelen gazeteciler sohbet etti. Duruşma öncesi herhangi bir destek açıklaması yapılmadı.
Mahkeme Salonu Koşulları
Mahkeme salonu katılımcı sayısına göre genişti. Mahkeme başkanı mikrofon kullanmadı ve sözleri katılımcılar tarafından duyulmadı.
Duruşmaya iki sanık ve dokuz avukat katıldı. Dört muhabir duruşmayı haber/rapor amacıyla takip etti.
Duruşma yıllardır sürdüğü, halen esas hakkında mütalaa verilmediği ve davada ilerleme olmadığı için duruşmaya katılım çok düşüktü.
“KCK Press” Trial 15. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)
“KCK Press” Trial 16. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)
“KCK Press” Trial 17. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)
“KCK Press” Trial 18. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)
“KCK Press” Trial 19. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)
“KCK Press” Trial 20. Standing (Minutes of the Hearing)
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