Hakan Dirik, İzmir correspondent for independent Cumhuriyet, and Erk Acarer, a reporter for BirGün newspaper, are being prosecuted on charges of “defamation” following the then Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ’s complaint about news articles.
Reports published in both media outlets were covering Turkey’s alleged export of raw material for “Sarin gas”, which is used as a chemical weapon by radical groups in Syria.
The Second Criminal Court of First Instance of Istanbul adjourned the trial to September 27, 2018, in order to wait for Acarer’s defense statement, who was in Germany during the second hearing on March 15 and to hear opposition CHP MP Eren Erdem as a witness. At the hearing on September 27, the court decided that the witness statement of Eren Erdem was not imperative for the proceedings and adjourned the hearing to December 20, for Acarer’s defense.
The lawsuit filed one and a half years after the news broke and the trial has been still continuing at the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance of Istanbul (28 November).
At the hearing held on January 12, 2021, the court board has ruled that the execution of the warrant against Erk Acarer shall be awaited. The next hearing will be held on March 9 (January 12).
The hearing expected to be held on March 9, 2021 was not held as the attorneys of Erk Acarer and Hakan Dirik offered an excuse. The hearing has been adjourned until a later date (March 9).