MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Sadiye Eser – trial for “membership of a terrorist organization”
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Sadiye Eser
CITY
İstanbul
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2019
LAST UPDATED
15/06/2022
MEDIUM
Internet
News Agency
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
Approval of the indictment and initiating the prosecution
THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR INTERFERENCE
Turkish Penal Code
Art. 314/2

Mezopotamya News Agency reporters Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu, who were taken into custody on 29 November, were arrested by the decision of İstanbul 3rd Peace Judgeship for allegedly being a member of a terrorist organization.

The indictment charging journalists with being a member of a terrorist organization was accepted.

At the hearing held on 26 March 2020, İstanbul 22nd Heavy Criminal Court decided to release journalists pending trial. The next hearing will be held on October 15.

At the hearing held on October 15, 2020, the court has ruled that the judicial control measure of giving signatures imposed on the journalists shall be lifted; the international travel ban shall remain in effect; the digital materials shall be returned; and a writ shall be notified so that a witness expected to be heard will be forcibly taken to court. The next hearing will be held on March 9, 2021 (October 15).

At the hearing held on March 9, 2021, the court board ruled that a writ should be written so that the witness who had given a statement against Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reporters Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu should be brought before the court by force. The next hearing will be held on June 8 (March 9).

At the hearing held on June 8, 2021, the attorneys of Sadık Topaloğlu and Sadiye Eser demanded that the decision to hear the witness named Özgür Baran be dropped and that their clients be acquitted. The court board ruled that another writ should be written to hear Özgür Baran. The next hearing will be held on September 21 (June 8).

At the hearing held on September 21, 2021, the court board ruled that the deficiencies should be rectified. The next hearing will be held on November 18 (September 21).

At the hearing held on November 18, 2021, the court board ruled that the witness who did not attend the previous hearings should be brought by force and the judicial control measures on the journalists should remain in effect. The next hearing will be held on January 11, 2022 (November 18). 

At the hearing held on January 11, 2022, the court ruled that another subpoena should be issued to hear the witness who could not be heard for six hearings. The next hearing will be held on May 12 (January 11).

At the hearing held on May 12, the prosecutor presented the opinion as to the accusations, and demanded that Eser and Topaloğlu be penalized for “membership of a terrorist organization”. Eser and Topaloğlu’s lawyers demanded time for defense. The court board accepted the demand for time. The next hearing will be held on June 15 (May 12).

At the hearing held on June 15, the court ruled that the execution of the warrants against the defendants facing warrants should be awaited. The next hearing will be held on October 5 (June 15).