The daily Sözcü columnists Emin Çölaşan, Necati Doğru, the Editor-in-Chief Metin Yılmaz, managing editor of online edition Mustafa Çetin, and online news editor Yücel Arı are standing trial for “aiding a terrorist organization [FETÖ] without being its member” at the 37th High Criminal Court of Istanbul. They face imprisonment for 15 years.
The prosecutor’s office dropped a separate probe into five other suspects, including Sözcü columnists Uğur Dündar and Saygı Öztürk.
An arrest warrant was issued for Burak Akbay, the owner of the Sözcü daily. The next hearing will be on October 28 (4 September).
At the hearing held on October 28, the court did not give its final verdict on the charges and adjourned the hearing to 27 December.
On December 27, the 37th High Criminal Court of İstanbul has ruled that Emin Çölaşan and Necati Doğru shall be sentenced to 3 years, 6 months, 15 days; Mustafa Çetin and Metin Yılmaz to 3 years, 4 months; Yücel Arı, Gökmen Ulu and Yonca Yücekaleli to 2 years, 1 month of imprisonment for “knowingly aiding an armed terrorist organization without being a part member of its hierarchical structure”.
On October 13, 2020, the 27th Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice, the upper court, has upheld the prison sentences of 3 years, 6 months, 15 days given to Emin Çölaşan and Necati Doğru, the prison sentences of 3 years, 4 months given to Mustafa Çetin and Metin Yılmaz and the prison sentences of 2 years, 1 month given to Yücel Arı, Gökmen Ulu and Yonca Yücekaleli on charge of “willingly and knowingly aiding the FETÖ”. The file will be sent to the Supreme Court of Appeals (October 13).