The new Turkey
Mahir Kanaat
Accounting director for the daily Birgü

28-Jan-2019 16:20


8 January 2019:

“RedHack trial” adjourned until April
The trial into journalists Tunca Öğreten, Mahir Kanaat, Ömer Çelik, Metin Yoksu, Derya Okatan and Eray Sargın on account of their coverage of Minister Berat Albayrak’s emails that were leaked by the hacker group Redhack resumed on 8 January at the 29th High Criminal Court of Istanbul. Öğreten, Okatan, Kanaat and their lawyers were in attendance in the courtroom during the hearing, which was monitored by P24. Çelik and Yoksu, who were not in Istanbul, addressed the court via SEGBİS. 

The prosecution requested the continuation of the judicial control measures imposed on the journalists. Addressing the court following the prosecutor, the journalists requested for their digital equipment confiscated during the investigation to be returned, their international travel ban to be lifted, and to be granted exemption from personal attendance in court. In its interim ruling at the end of the hearing, the court rejected the requests and adjourned the trial until 16 April, awaiting an expert report concerning the digital equipment.


13 September 2018:

“RedHack trial” into 6 journalists adjourned 
 
On 13 September, the latest hearing took place in the trial into journalists Tunca Öğreten, Mahir Kanaat, Ömer Çelik, Metin Yoksu, Derya Okatan and Eray Sargın on account of their coverage of Minister Berat Albayrak’s emails that were leaked by the hacker group Redhack.  
P24 monitored the hearing at the 29th High Criminal Court of Istanbul, where Öğreten, Kanaat, Okatan and Sargın and their lawyers were in attendance. Çelik and Yoksu did not attend.
 
Addressing the court during the hearing, Öğreten requested for his computer and his mobile phone that had been confiscated during the investigation to be returned. He also requested for his international travel ban to be lifted.
 
Kanaat and Okatan also requested that their digital material be returned while Sargın requested that the judicial control measures imposed on him be lifted. Okatan’s lawyer Ali Koç told the court that the investigation on digital equipment should be conducted via forensic images rather than the equipment itself. Koç also demanded that Okatan’s international travel ban is lifted.
 
Defense lawyer Sevgi Kalan Güvercin, who is representing Öğreten and Kanaat, also demanded that the judicial control measures imposed on the defendants be lifted. Noting that his client is an amateur stage actor, Sargın’s lawyer Erman Öztürk said the travel ban imposed on his client prevented him from taking part in overseas performances by his company, and demanded the lifting of the ban.
 
The prosecutor said it was not clear in the case file whether forensic images from digital equipment have been taken or not, and demanded that the court reject those requests. Announcing its interim decision after a brief recess, the court rejected the defendants’ requests and ordered that Yoksu and Çelik be forcibly brought before the court for the next hearing and adjourned the trial until 8 January 2019.



30 December 2017:
Detention periods for detained journalists extended

The detention periods for six journalists detained on December 25 were extended to 30 days, independent news outlet Bianet reported. Ömer Çelik, Metin Yoksu, Derya Okatan, Eray Saygın, Mahir Kanaat, and Tunca Öğreten were arrested for alleged connections to Redhack, a group claiming to be behind the leaked emails of a Turkish minister. The journalists had reportedly been denied access to a lawyer for five days. Lawyer Özcan Kılıç told Bianet that he was finally given access to Çelik, Okatan, and Yoksu today, adding that Okatan is on a hunger strike in protest of the charges.


6 December 2017:
Journalists released

An Istanbul court on December 6 released freelance journalist Tunca Öğreten and daily Birgün accountant Mahir Kanaat, pending the outcome of their trial, the independent news website Bianet reported.

Turkish authorities are trying Öğreten and Kanaat, along with four other journalists, on charges of terrorism for reporting on leaked emails from Turkey's energy minister, CPJ has documented. The group was detained in December 2016 and the other co-defendants have previously been released from pre-trial detention, according to past reports from Bianet.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 3, 2018, according to Bianet.


28 August 2017:

Jailed Turkish journalists may protest ‘single-type’ uniforms by undressing

Imprisoned journalists in Turkey may protest against the government’s suggestion of a “single-type” uniform at court hearings for suspects facing terrorism charges by “undressing,” jailed daily Birgün staff member Mahir Kanaat has told a visiting opposition MP.

Kanaat’s words to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Utku Çakıözer during the latter’s visit to Istanbul’s Silivri Prison were revealed in an interview with Çakırözer published on the OdaTV news website on Aug. 27. 

Stating that all imprisoned journalists are “uneasy” about the discussion on possible standardized outfits, Çakıözer said Kanaat referred to measures taken after Turkey’s military coup in 1980. 

“Just like those being tried in cases after the [1980 coup] protested against the single-uniforms by undressing, we are determined to do the same,” he said.

Kanaat, who detained by police on Dec. 25, 2016, is accused of having connections to the hacker group RedHack. He is charged with “being a member of an armed terrorist organization” and denies all accusations. 

Çakırözer also condemned the possible standardized outfit measure, saying it would overshadow the right to a fair trial.

“Those governing our country should think very well of the trauma and negative psychology that such a measure would cause. All the journalists who I have met, without exception, are disturbed about this issue. If such a ruling comes out, they are thinking of not attending to the trials and not even defending themselves. The decision to implement a single-type uniform would overshow the holiness of the principles of a right to defense and the right to a fair trial,” he said.

“Who would win from the image of a journalist undressing in front of the court? [Such an image] would cause all of us in Turkey to lose. It would create a bad perception for Turkey in front of the world,” Çakırözer added. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said during a speech on Aug. 5 in the eastern province of Malatya that the Justice Ministry would soon introduce a standardized jumpsuit in a dark almond color for suspected members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), following controversy over an accused soldier who wore a t-shirt bearing the writing “hero” in court. Other suspects on trial over terror charges, however, would be obliged to wear jackets and trousers, Erdoğan added. Source



18 January 2017:

Terror charges for journalists detained in December

An Istanbul court last night arrested two journalists and a newspaper employee for allegedly "being members of a [terrorist] organization," Bianet reported. Tunca Öğreten, a freelance journalist and former editor of the news website Dikenin Istanbul; Ömer Çelik, news editor of Dihaber in Diyarbakır; and Mahir Kanaat, the accounting director for the daily Birgün, have been detained since December 25, as part of an investigation into leaked emails of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the president's son-in-law, according to reports. Three journalists detained alongside them--Metin Yoksu, a reporter for Dihaber; Derya Okatan, from the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) in Ankara; and Eray Sargın, a news editor for Yolculuk in Istanbul--were released under judicial control, reports said.

The journalists were questioned about different groups recognized as terrorists by Turkey, according to analysis in the daily Evrensel by chief editor Fatih Polat, who followed the case and interviewed defense lawyers. Öğreten's terror allegation was linked to him working for the shuttered daily Taraf before he was at Diken, which prosecutors saidwas a "media organ of the FETÖ." FETÖ, or the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization is the name Turkish authorities gave to the Hizmet Movement, an international organization led by exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. The prosecutor also accused the journalist of being a member of the extreme leftist group the Revolutionary People's Salvation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Another report in Evrensel said the others were accused of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). The report did not specify which accusations related to which defendant. The journalists denied the charges.

Atilla Bahçıvan, a lawyer for Kanaat, told Polat that the evidence was either weak or not criminal under Turkish law. Bahçıvan said, "The case is there just because of the name Berat Albayrak. Nothing would come out [of this case] if it was about something else."


18 January 2017:

Terror charges for journalists detained in December

An Istanbul court last night arrested two journalists and a newspaper employee for allegedly "being members of a [terrorist] organization," Bianet reported. Tunca Öğreten, a freelance journalist and former editor of the news website Dikenin Istanbul; Ömer Çelik, news editor of Dihaber in Diyarbakır; and Mahir Kanaat, the accounting director for the daily Birgün, have been detained since December 25, as part of an investigation into leaked emails of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the president's son-in-law, according to reports. Three journalists detained alongside them--Metin Yoksu, a reporter for Dihaber; Derya Okatan, from the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) in Ankara; and Eray Sargın, a news editor for Yolculuk in Istanbul--were released under judicial control, reports said.

The journalists were questioned about different groups recognized as terrorists by Turkey, according to analysis in the daily Evrensel by chief editor Fatih Polat, who followed the case and interviewed defense lawyers. Öğreten's terror allegation was linked to him working for the shuttered daily Taraf before he was at Diken, which prosecutors saidwas a "media organ of the FETÖ." FETÖ, or the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization is the name Turkish authorities gave to the Hizmet Movement, an international organization led by exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. The prosecutor also accused the journalist of being a member of the extreme leftist group the Revolutionary People's Salvation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Another report in Evrensel said the others were accused of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). The report did not specify which accusations related to which defendant. The journalists denied the charges.

Atilla Bahçıvan, a lawyer for Kanaat, told Polat that the evidence was either weak or not criminal under Turkish law. Bahçıvan said, "The case is there just because of the name Berat Albayrak. Nothing would come out [of this case] if it was about something else."



12 January 2017:
Opposition party queries government on detention of journalists
In the Turkish parliament today, the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) queried the government regarding six journalists and media workers detained on December 25, 2016, the English-language website of the socialist daily Birgün reported. Police detained the six--Ömer Çelik, Metin Yoksu, Derya Okatan, Eray Saygın, Mahir Kanaat, and Tunca Öğreten--in connection with stories citing purported leaked emails of Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the president's son-in-law, CPJ reported at the time. According to the European Federation of Journalists, Okatan is on hunger strike. Kanaat's son was born on January 7, according to the pro-opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet.


30 December 2016:

Detention periods for detained journalists extended

The detention periods for six journalists detained on December 25 were extended to 30 days, independent news outlet Bianet reported. Ömer Çelik, Metin Yoksu, Derya Okatan, Eray Saygın, Mahir Kanaat, and Tunca Öğreten were arrested for alleged connections to Redhack, a group claiming to be behind the leaked emails of a Turkish minister. The journalists had reportedly been denied access to a lawyer for five days. Lawyer Özcan Kılıç told Bianet that he was finally given access to Çelik, Okatan, and Yoksu today, adding that Okatan is on a hunger strike in protest of the charges.