Last update: 26-Apr-2020
23 January 2020:
The third hearing in a trial where Yeni Asya newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Kazım Güleçyüz and responsible Managing Editor İbrahim Özdabak were charged with “terrorism propaganda” took place on 23 January 2020 at the 29. High Criminal Court of Istanbul. Both journalists were accused over reports and articles published in the newspaper as well as several social media posts.
Issuing its verdict at the end of the hearing, the court sentenced Güleçyüz to 1 year and 8 months and Özdabak to 1 year, 6 months and 22 days in prison.
8 February 2019:
The two journalists were indicted by a prosecutor on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda.
The first hearing of the journalists’ trial will be held on May 2 before the İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court.
The indictment cites tweets from Güleçyüz and cartoons from Özdabak as terrorist propaganda.
In his tweets that made their way into the indictment, Güleçyüz questions the suspicious elements in a failed coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016 following which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) launched a massive crackdown on its critics, in particular the Gülen movement.
The AKP government accuses the movement of masterminding the failed coup, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.
The reason Özdabak angered the government with his cartoons was because he covered the tragedies that took place in the lives of ordinary people who were accused of coup involvement in the aftermath of the abortive putsch.
He drew cartoons of babies and children separated from their mothers who were jailed on coup charges as well as children who went to jail along with their mothers.
More than 17,000 women have been jailed on terrorism charges since the coup attempt in Turkey, and around 750 children are currently accompanying their mothers in prison.
In one of his cartoons, which is cited in the indictment, Özdabak depicts the tragedy of a mother who lost her twins in a prison in Sinop province where she was jailed due to alleged Gülen links.
“The pregnant woman, who is jailed, lost her twin babies. Letter from jail to heaven,” a caption on the cartoon says.