On 13 February 2017, İstanbul 25th Heavy Criminal Court accepted the indictment prepared for 29 defendants whom are mostly journalists.
A lawsuit has been filed against 26 journalists including journalists Murat Aksoy and Atilla Taş, on the charges of “membership in a terrorist organization [FETÖ]” and “coup attempt” at the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court. Columnist and singer Atilla Taş was sentenced to 3 years, 1 month and 15 days in prison while journalist Murat Aksoy was sentenced to 2 years and 1 month in prison.
Media workers Ali Akkuş, Ahmet Memiş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Hüseyin Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız, Cuma Ulus were sentenced to 7 years 6 months in prison for “membership in a terrorist organisation”; Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Seyit Kılıç, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç and Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu were sentenced to 6 years 3 months in prison for the same charge. Ali Akkuş, who was pending trial without arrest, was arrested.
İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court ordered acquittal of all defendants over charge of “coup attempt”. The 2nd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice (BAM) rejected the requests for appeal raised by defendants including Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Bayram Kaya, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Davut Aydın, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Habip Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Oğuz Usluer and Ünal Tanık. They had brought their cases before the Supreme Court.
The court board of the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court had previously ruled that the files of fugitive defendants Bülent Ceyhan and Said Sefa shall be separated since the arrest warrants issued against them had not been executed (8 March 2018).The board also ruled that Muhterem Tanık shall be acquitted of the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization [FETÖ]”
In its decision dated 16 March 2020, the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed the decision of court of first instance in terms of the sentences imposed against 6 journalist on the charges of “membership to a terrorist organization”. Meanwhile, court upheld the sentences imposed on Hanım Büşra Erdal, Cuma Ulus, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Bayram Kaya, Bünyamin Köseli, Abdullah Kılıç, Cihan Acar, Davut Aydın, Habip Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta, Hüseyin Aydın, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Seyid Kılıç, Murat Aksoy and Ufuk Şanlı.
The prison sentences against Ahmet Memiş, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin and Yetkin Yıldız were reversed due to lack of sufficient interrogation. On the other hand, court reversed the sentence of 3 years 1 month and 15 days imprisonment decided against singer and journalist Atilla Taş for “aiding to a terrorist organization”. It stated that Atilla Taş’s actions constituted the crime of “insulting the President and publicly humiliating the institutions and bodies of the State”.
The 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals has also reversed the judgement against Ali Akkuş and journalist was released with the decision.