MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Sözcü newspaper chief editor Necdet Önemli on Trial for “marking a counterterrorism official as a target”
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Necdet Önemli
CITY
İstanbul
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2019
LAST UPDATED
07/10/2020
TYPE OF STATEMENT
Political
MEDIUM
Print Media
Newspaper
THE TITLE OF WHOSE RIGHT IS INTERFERED
Chief Editor
RIGHTS GUARANTEED UNDER THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Right to Impart Information and Ideas
TYPE OF INTERFERENCE
Judicial Interference
Criminal Courts
Approval of the indictment and initiating the prosecution
THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR INTERFERENCE
Anti-Terror Law
Art. 6/1

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation against Seyhan Avşar, a reporter for the daily Cumhuriyet, for a news article she penned for the newspaper. She is being charged with “marking a public officer involved in counterterrorism as target” due to her article about the prosecutor of the trial against Sözcü Newspaper. The article underlines the fact that the prosecutor was convicted of a crime.

Avşar gave her statement at the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on March 19, 2019 in response to the allegation that she “marked a public officer as a target for terrorist groups” in her reporting. Avşar denied the allegation, saying that her news story was within the limits of freedom of the press.

While the first indictment was issued with the demand of Avşar to be tried for “insult”, it was turned into the charge of ‘marking a counterterrorism official into a target”. Avşar will be tried for up to three years in prison at the Istanbul 29th High Criminal Court (7 August).

The first hearing of the trial was held on January 9, 2020. The hearing was adjourned until May 21st for the statement of Necdet Önemli, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper.

Trial to be held on May 21 was adjourned until 9 October 2020 due to the measures taken against Covid-19 pandemic (21 May).

At the hearing held on October 7, 2020, the court ruled that the case file should be sent to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for the preparation of the opinion as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on March 11, 2021 (October 7).