On March 31, journalist Hakan Aygün posted a tweet criticizing state’s policy on soliciting donation from the public pertaining the corona virus pandemic, using a religious reference from Quran. According to Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Doğan İnal, who is a lawyer, filed a complaint against Aygün claiming that his tweet constitutes “provoking public to hatred, hostility or degrading” and “publicly insult”, the following day. On April 3rd, Akgün was taken into custody in Bodrum, Muğla, and was arrested on the 4th due to the alleged charges.
At the hearing held on May 6, announcing its verdict, the Bodrum 3rd Penal Court of First Instance has ruled that Aygün shall be released considering the time he has already served in prison and on the ground that he has no suspicion of escape (6 May)
At the hearing on July 14th, the court announced another indictment had been prepared against Aygün and decided to merge files. Journalist’s lawyer requested time for preparation of defence. Next trial will be held on 27 October.
Journalist was detained due to the same article for the second time, according to the post he shared on August 15. He was released after giving his statement.
At the hearing held on October 27, 2020, Aygün stated that the social media post cited as criminal evidence in the indictment did not belong to him. Handing down its interlocutory judgement, the court has ruled that the examination of digital materials shall be awaited. The next hearing will be held on January 19, 2021 (October 27).
At the hearing held on January 19, 2021, the court board requested that an official letter be sent to the Bodrum District Gendarmerie and Bodrum District Security Directorates, inquiring whether the social media messages of journalist Hakan Aygün disturbed public peace in that period or not. The next hearing will be held on March 9 (January 19).
On February 23, 2021, the Constitutional Court concluded that the arrest of journalist Hakan Aygün over a tweet containing a wordplay with IBAN and “iman” (faith in Turkish) was not lawful and violated his right to personal liberty and security. The Court has unanimously ruled that Aygün shall be paid 40 thousand Turkish Lira (TRY) in non-pecuniary damages (February 23).
At the fifth hearing of the trial held on March 9, the prosecutor pronounced the opinion as to the accusations and demanded Aygün’s penalization. The next hearing will be held on March 16 (March 9).
At the final hearing of the trial held on March 16, 2021, journalist Hakan Aygün was sentenced to 7 months, 15 days in prison on charge of “degrading religious values” as per the Article 216/3 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). The announcement of the verdict has been deferred (March 16).