Press and freedom of expression bulletin for the week of July 1

Press and freedom of expression bulletin for the week of July 1


This week's bulletin highlights continued pressures on journalists and ongoing freedom of expression cases across Turkey. Key events include the sentencing of eight journalists to 6 years and 3 months each, the acquittal of journalist Onur Öncü on disinformation charges, and fines imposed by RTÜK for the use of the term "Kurdistan."

MLSA's Case Monitoring Unit followed 17 cases in four cities.

Monday, July 1

Journalist Onur Öncü acquitted of 'disinformation' charges
Journalist Onur Öncü was acquitted in his first hearing on charges of "publicly disseminating misleading information." He had faced trial for sharing claims that votes for the Green Left Party (Yeşil Sol Parti) were being counted for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) during the first round of the presidential and 28th general parliamentary elections.

Compensation case filed by AKP's Arslan against journalists dismissed
The compensation case filed by former AKP Ankara Deputy Ali İhsan Arslan against journalists İzel Sezer and Doğan Ergün was dismissed. Arslan had sought 20,000 TL in damages.

Free Web Turkey publishes global censorship agenda
Free Web Turkey reported that the SoL News Platform was accused by Meta of promoting "ISIS" and later "Alaattin Çakıcı" propaganda, resulting in Facebook blocking their news posts.

RTÜK fines for use of 'Kurdistan' total 908,252 TL in 2023
RTÜK imposed a total of 908,252 TL in fines on television channels for using the term "Kurdistan" and discussing the Kurdish issue. Among these, İlke TV received an 85,738 TL fine for using "Kurdistan" during a debate program. Halk TV faced five program suspensions for promoting Selahattin Demirtaş's book.

Tuesday, July 2

Journalist Furkan Karabay faces charges for 'targeting' and 'insult'
Prosecutors demanded a sentence for journalist Furkan Karabay on charges of "targeting individuals involved in anti-terrorism efforts" and "publicly insulting a public official." Karabay was detained for reporting on a court hearing and released after 11 days.

Journalists Akgül and Kalafat acquitted in 'Armenian Genocide' case
Journalists Elif Akgül and Haluk Kalafat were acquitted of charges of "insulting the Turkish nation" (TCK 301/1) related to their reports on the Armenian Genocide published on Bianet. MLSA provided their defense.

Wednesday, July 3

1 May Day case: 8 detainees released
The first hearing for 12 individuals detained after the May Day protests in Istanbul resulted in the release of eight detainees. The trial was adjourned to January 7, 2025.

Eight journalists sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison
In a trial involving 11 journalists from MA and JINNEWS, eight were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months for "membership in a terrorist organization." Three journalists were acquitted.

42 acquitted in Ankara Pride March case
All 42 individuals detained during the 2nd Ankara Pride March in July 2022 were acquitted of all charges.

Thursday, July 4

Case against journalists and lawyers postponed again
The trial involving ETHA employees and lawyers from the Law Office of the Oppressed was postponed for the preparation of a merged case file by the prosecutor's office. The case has been ongoing for six years.

Sentenced journalists criticize the judiciary's intimidation role
Journalists sentenced in the MA and JINNEWS case criticized the judiciary for attempting to intimidate the public and penalize journalism.

Friday, July 5

Boğaziçi case: Report requested on edited footage
In the trial of 51 students and journalist Yağmur Kaya detained during a protest at Istanbul Courthouse, the court requested a report from Istanbul University's Forensic Medicine Institute to determine if police-submitted footage was edited.

RTÜK member Ipekyüz opposes Open Radio fine
RTÜK member Necdet İpekyüz opposed the fine and program suspension imposed on Open Radio for using the term "Armenian genocide." He argued that RTÜK should not adjudicate historical matters and that the decision violated freedom of expression and the Constitution.


Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.