The absence of defendants in courtroom in the trial over violence against Beyza Kural
Beyza Kural
Impunity for Violence
National Media

The İstanbul 35th Criminal Court of First Instance continued hearing the trial of the three police officers who inflicted violence on former bianet reporter Beyza Kural, telling her “Nothing is the same anymore, we will make you learn this.” Police officers K.A., N.D. and Y.Ş. are facing the charge of “violating the freedom to work and labor” as per the Articles 117/1 and 119/1-e of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Speaking at the hearing, Beyza Kural’s attorney Meriç Eyüboğlu criticized that the defendants had been indicted solely on this charge and demanded that the investigation be extended in such a way to bring the charges of “battery and threat” so that the trial would also comprise the Constitutional Court ruling of rights violation. As stated by Eyüboğlu, after Kural had said, “I am [from] the press”, defendant Y.Ş. turned to her and uttered the remarks “Nothing is the same anymore, we will make you learn this.” At the first hearing of the trial, defendant Y.Ş. had stated, “I didn’t know that she was a member of the press. I didn’t see her press card.” At the following hearing, his attorney said that he was on duty abroad and the defendant has been exempted from attending the hearings. However, before this decision was given, Kural’s attorney Eyüboğlu underlined that the police officer was obligated to present a written document confirming that he was on duty abroad. The court also ruled that defendant police officer N.D. should attend the hearings via the Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS). The trial will continue on December 10, 2021 (September 24).

At the hearing held on December 10, 2021, it was expected that the statement of police officer N.D. in Diyarbakır would be taken. However, the defendant police officer N.D. did not go to the Diyarbakır 14th High Criminal Court, where he would attend the hearing in İstanbul via the Audio and Visual Information System (SEGBİS). After journalist Beyza Kural’s lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu requested a warrant against N.D., whose statement had not yet been taken, the defendant police officers’ lawyer Abdulkadir Cerrah said that the court notification had been sent to the former address of N.D. and that the defendant police officer would be present at the next hearing. The court ruled that a written notification should be issued to ensure that N.D. would be present at the hearing and adjourned the trial until March 11, 2022 (December 10).