The Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign of Özgür Gündem daily had begun on May 3, 2016 and ended on August 7, 2016. Daily was closed through the Statutory Decree No. 675 issued under the State of Emergency. Investigations have been launched against 50 of the 56 Editors-in-Chief on Watch who have participated in the solidarity campaign and 38 of them faced prosecution.
The 13th High Criminal Court of İstanbul, with the decision dated 16 May 2017, sentenced human rights advocate, journalist Murat Çelikkan to 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment for “propagandising for a terrorist organisation” for having participated in the “Editors-in-Chief on Watch” campaign in solidarity with the closed Özgür Gündem newspaper. The court did not defer the case on the ground that “the suspect hasn’t shown sufficient remorse”. He entered Kırklareli Prison on August 14, and was transferred to open prison on October 14.
Çelikkan was released on October 21, 2017 after his attorneys has submitted a motion requesting that he be released on probation.