MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Abdurrahman Gök – trial for “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Abdurrahman Gök
CITY
Diyarbakır
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2018
LAST UPDATED
30/06/2022
TYPE OF STATEMENT
Political
MEDIUM
Internet
Internet News Portal
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
Judicial Interference
Criminal Courts
Sentence to imprisonment
THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR INTERFERENCE
Turkish Penal Code
Art. 314/2

Journalists Abdurrahman Gök, Lezgin Akdeniz, Cihan Ölmez, Esra Solin Dal and Semiha Alankuş and Mehmet Akdoğan who were taken into custody in house raids conducted as part of a Diyarbakır-based operation launched in eight provinces on October 9. They were released after giving their depositions at the courthouse (13 October 2018).

Taken into custody in Diyarbakır province on October 9, 2018, journalist Abdurrahman Gök has been indicted on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” following an investigation into his phone calls with his news sources, his social media posts and the news he reported.

The indictment has been accepted by the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court and a lawsuit has been filed against the journalist. The first hearing will be held on February 23, 2021 (October 30).

At the hearing held on February 23, the court board ruled that the international travel ban on Gök should be lifted and the anonymous witness should be heard between the hearings. The next hearing will be held on June 3 (February 23).

At the hearing held on June 3, 2021, the file of the case was sent to the prosecutor’s office for the preparation of the opinion as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on September 30 (June 3).

At the hearing held on September 30, 2021, Gök said in his defense that he was a journalist and he posted the social media messages cited as criminal evidence by the prosecutor’s office with the aim of reporting news. Gök demanded that the request of the prosecutor’s office for a criminal complaint be rejected. The court ruled that the social media messages cited in the criminal complaint should be examined between the hearings. The next hearing will be held on January 20 (September 30).

At the hearing held on January 20, 2022, the criminal complaint filed at the previous hearing was turned into a court case on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and merged with the current case. The court gave time to Gök and his lawyer to prepare their defense as to the indictment of the merged file. The next hearing will be held on March 31 (January 20).

At the hearing held on March 31, 2022, Gök requested time for the defense. The presiding judge said that they were preparing to give a judgment in this trial and demanded a statement as to the accusations. The court board gave time to journalist Gök and his lawyer so that they could prepare their defense statements as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on June 30 (March 31).

At the hearing held on June 30, 2022, the court ruled that journalist Gök should be acquitted of the charged offense of “membership of an armed organization” as he was not proven guilty of the crime. The court also ruled that he should be sentenced to 1 year, 6 months, 22 days in prison on charge of “successively propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.

Not asking Gök whether he would accept the deferment of the announcement of the verdict, the court ruled that his sentence should not be deferred or optional sanctions should not be put into effect on the grounds that there emerged no positive conviction that he would not commit crimes again considering his criminal record. Gök’s lawyer Resul Temur said that they would take the verdict to the appeals court (June 30).