Cengiz Erdinç, a reporter for the daily Yurt, is standing trial for allegedly violating the banking law due to his article titled, “The Financial Black Holes,” upon a complaint filed by the state-owned bank Ziraat. He was sentenced to 10-months imprisonment and an additional judicial fine of 16,000 Turkish Lira (around $3,000) by the 2nd Assize Criminal Court of Istanbul.
The court suspended the execution of the sentence on the grounds that Erdinç “has shown remorse,” which the columnist denied after the hearing. Erdinç’s lawyer Baran Kaya said they will appeal the verdict.
On December 1, 2020, the 14th Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Court of Appeals upheld the deferred prison sentence of 10 months and judicial fine of 16,660 Turkish Lira (TRY) given to journalist Cengiz Erdinç upon the criminal complaint of Ziraat Bank over his news report titled “The Financial Black Holes” (Finansal Karadelikler) for “harming its reputation”. While the court of appeals offered no justification for its judgement, Erdinç’s attorney Baran Kaya will appeal to the Constitutional Court (December 1).