MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Lawsuit for damages against Hazal Ocak over news on Berat Albayrak
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Hazal Ocak
CITY
İstanbul
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2020
LAST UPDATED
21/06/2022
TYPE OF STATEMENT
Political
MEDIUM
Print Media
Newspaper
THE TITLE OF WHOSE RIGHT IS INTERFERED
Journalist
RIGHTS GUARANTEED UNDER THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Right to Impart Information and Ideas
TYPE OF INTERFERENCE
Third-Party Interference
Filing a Compensation Lawsuit
THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR INTERFERENCE
Turkish Civil Code
Art. 25

A lawsuit for damages was filed against reporter Hazal Ocak, who had her signature on a news report entitled “The son-in-law knows what to do” (Damat işi biliyor) regarding Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak’s purchase of land along the route of Canal İstanbul project and published on Cumhuriyet newspaper on January 20, 2020. 

The first hearing of the lawsuit was held at the İstanbul 8th Civil Court of First Instance on November 12, 2020. The attorneys of the parties presented excuses; the next hearing will be held at a later date, which will be determined in upcoming days (November 12).

The hearing scheduled for March 25, 2021 was adjourned until June 17 (March 25).

At the hearing held on June 17, 2021, the court board ruled that the finalization of the ruling of acquittal given in the criminal case filed against the same news report should be waited. The next hearing will be held on October 14 (June 17).

At the hearing held on October 14, 2021, the court board ruled that the finalization of the ruling of acquittal given for Hazal Ocak by the İstanbul 2nd High Criminal Court should be awaited. The next hearing will be held on February 8, 2022 (October 14).

At the hearing held on February 8, lawyer Bulut referred to Hazal Ocak’s trial at the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance and recalled that she had been acquitted of “insulting a public official” (as per the Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code / TCK) over the news report “The son-in-law knows what to do” published on Cumhuriyet newspaper on January 20, 2022. Noting that the related case was pending before the appeals court, Bulut requested that the finalization of the acquittal be awaited. 

The court board ruled that it should be awaited until the verdict of acquittal became final. The next hearing will be held on June 21 (February 8).

At the hearing held on June 21, 2022, the judge adjourned the hearing, attended by Albayrak’s lawyers via the e-trial method, without informing Hazal Ocak’s attorney Damla Çaltepe, who was waiting in front of the courtroom. The judge also refused to inform Çaltepe about the date until which the hearing was adjourned, saying, “You will learn it from the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP).” Over the past hearings, the court has been awaiting the finalization of the acquittal of Ocak in the trial held over the same news report (June 21).