BirGün newspaper’s political editor Mehmet Emin Kurnaz were put on trial on charges of “insulting a public official due to her/his duty” (Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code / TCK) and “insulting the President of the Republic” (Article 299 of the TCK) on the grounds that he allegedly insulted MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli and President and AKP Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the Sunday supplement titled “The Government of the Gangs” published on May 25, 2021.
At the second hearing of the case held on December 7, 2021, Kurnaz and his lawyer Tolgay Güvercin were present in the courtroom. The next hearing will be held on March 17, 2022 (December 7).
At the hearing held on March 17, 2022, the court board accepted the request of Kurnaz and his lawyer for time to make their statements of defense as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on September 8 (March 17).
At the hearing held on September 8, 2022, Kurnaz made his defense as to the accusations. Reiterating his previous statement, he said that he had reported the news cited as criminal evidence for public good. Kurnaz requested his acquittal. The court ruled that the case file should be examined to hand down the ruling. The next hearing will be held on October 20 (September 8).
At the hearing held on October 20, 2022, the court sentenced Kurnaz to 11 months, 20 days in prison on two separate charges and suspended the announcement of the verdict (October 20).