Six Turkish journalists were given 15-month suspended sentences on Wednesday on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda while serving as the symbolic editor-in-chief for a day of the now-closed Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily in 2016, the Medyascope news platform reported.
Apart from journalists Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, İhsan Çaralan, Fehim Işık and Öncü Akgül, Celalettin Can was also given 15 months in prison but his sentence was not suspended.
A solidarity campaign for Özgür Gündem, the one-day symbolic editor-in-chief routine, was conducted between May and August 2016, in which 56 journalists, lawyers and human rights activists participated.
Forty-nine of them were subject to prosecution, and the newspaper was closed by government decree in October 2016 after a failed coup that gave the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vast authorities under a subsequent state of emergency.
28 March 2019:
16 July 2018:
Özgür Gündem solidarity trial adjourned until October
16 November 2016:
The charges against Akgul stem from the Özgür Gündem's coverage on the day she symbolically acted as co-editor of the newspaper to protest authorities' relentless judicial harassment of the newspaper's staff before police raided and shuttered its office on August 16.
Some 50 people face prosecution for participating in a protest that saw dozens of journalists, academics, and activists show solidarity with the newspaper by taking turns acting as co-editor of the newspaper for a day. Courts have indicted 36 participants, who now face trial, according to Evrensel.
İnan Kızılkaya, the newspaper's former responsible news editor, is a codefendant in each of those 36 cases.
8 September 2016:
İnan Kızılkaya, the newspaper's responsible news editor, will be a defendant in each of the trials, since his position makes him legally responsible for everything the newspaper publishes, Bianet reported. Istanbul's 13th, 14th, and 22nd Courts for Serious Crimes will begin hearing the cases of Ayşe Düzkan, Ragıp Duran, Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Celal Başlangıç, Fehim Işık, Yıldırım Türker, Ayşe Batumlu, İhsan Çaralan, Murat Çelikkan, Beyza Üstün, Cemalettin Can, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Ahmet Nesin, and Erol Önderoğlu, Önderoğlu reported. Prosecutors have also indicted Kemal Can, Öncü Akgül, and Cengiz Baysoy, so they may stand trial with the rest, Özgür Gündem lawyer Özcan Kılıç said.