26 November 2019:
BirGün daily’s executives İbrahim Aydın, Barış İnce, Can Uğur and Bülent Yılmaz appeared before the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul on 26 November 2019 for the first hearing of their trial on the charge of “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member.” The four are accused over news coverage of posts by the Twitter account “Fuat Avni” featured in the online edition of the newspaper between 2014 and 2015.
Delivering their defense statements during the hearing, Aydın, İnce, Uğur and Yılmaz rejected the accusation leveled against them.
In its interim ruling announced at the end of the hearing, the court panel ruled to adjourn the trial until 5 March 2020 to allow time for the prosecution to draft their final opinion and for the preparation of the final defense statements. A report about the hearing, monitored by P24, can be accessed here.
12 September 2019:
Barış İnce, the former Managing Editor of daily BirGün, presented the related acrostic statement of defense as part of an investigation launched against him for the news article "They made a double highway to their pockets" published on BirGün newspaper.
The article subject to the lawsuit featured the summaries of proceedings on the Turkey Youth and Education Service Foundation (TÜRGEV) chaired by Bilal Erdoğan, the son of President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the first judgement
Due to this statement of defense, which was reported in the news as "acrostic defense", another lawsuit was filed against journalist İnce on the same charge of "insulting the President".
In the first lawsuit filed against him due to his article on BirGün, the İstanbul 2nd Penal Court of First Instance ruled that İnce should pay 10,620 TRY damages for "hurting the dignity, honor and reputation of a person" and did not reduce the sentence on the ground that "he did not show repentance."
The İstanbul 2nd Penal Court of First Instance ruled that journalist Barış İnce should be sentenced to 21 months in prison on charge of "insulting the President" with his acrostic statement of defense. After the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed this judgement and the case was heard again, the journalist has now been sentenced to 11 months, 20 days in prison. (AS/SD)
Four journalists from BirGün daily — İbrahim Aydın, Barış İnce, Can Uğur and Bülent Yılmaz — are charged with “aiding a terrorist organization without being its member” in a new indictment. The accusation stems from the journalists’ reporting about posts from before the year 2016 by the Twitter account that used the pseudonym “Fuat Avni.”
The 16-page indictment was recently accepted by the 32nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul, which will be overseeing the case. The indictment claims that the newspaper’s reporting about “Fuat Avni” helped “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ/PDY)” in their attempts to manipulate public opinion.
İnce was released after testifying in the İstanbul Court in Çağlayan. He was reportedly forced to wear handcuffs while being detained in the court.
In a statement made via Twitter, the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS) demanded the release of İnce, who was also a member of the union. (ÇT/DG)
8 March 2016:
BirGün reported that the penalty hasn’t been suspended. It can be appealed.
İnce posted the following tweet upon the ruling:
21 months of prison! We will again go out, laugh, speak. But our children in future will know their names always as thief and fascist.
What had happened?
The charges were made after İnce faced an investigation as editor-in-chief due to his newspaper’s coverage on TÜRGEV Foundation - an entity with president's son Bilal Erdoğan in the administration.
Related to the case, BirGün newspaper journalists Abdülhamit Çay and Cengiz Aktürk stood trial for defamation due to an article entitled “They have built double road to their pockets” on March 3.
“There is political criticism here. Acrostics was one of the most flamboyant ways to do that,” İnce told bianet.
“Charging somebody for acrostics,” he added, “is fascism”.
The case indictment cited that Ince’s defense statement was published on BirGün newspaper under the title “Such is my defense”. The prosecutor claimed that the first letters of each paragraphs in the article started in the fashion that it would form the message “Thief Tayyip”. (Hırsız Tayyip in Turkish) (EA/TK)
According to the Article 299, a person who insults the President shall be sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison.
Evrensel’s lead writer İhsan Çaralan and other columnists Mustafa Köz and Erol Aral also were opened investigation for their columns.
Plaintiff was the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The defamation case was tried by İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
Journalist Barış İnce was absolved from cases presented by the President Erdoğan’s children Sümeyye Erdoğan, Bilal Erdoğan, Esra Erdoğan Albayrak and Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak.
Journalist İnce was fined 10 thousand Turkish liras before for allegedly insulting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son Bilal Erdoğan due to İnce’s newspaper’s coverage on TÜRGEV Foundation - an entity with the president’ son Bilal Erdoğan in the administration. Journalist Barış İnce’s “case acrostic” still goes on. (EA/BD)