MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Trial of Gazete Kadıköy Managing Editor Semra Çelebi – on charge of “insulting the Turkish flag”
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Semra Çelebi
CITY
İstanbul
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2014
LAST UPDATED
16/08/2022
TYPE OF STATEMENT
Political
MEDIUM
Internet
Social Media Account
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
Turkish Penal Code
Art. 301

Semra Çelebi, the Managing Editor of Gazete Kadıköy local newspaper based in İstanbul, was put on trial due to a social media post from two years ago on charge of “insulting the Turkish flag.”

Sharing a picture with a rainbow flag from the 2014 Pride Week, Çelebi wrote, “Say, what makes flag a flag is fags”, which led her to face a criminal complaint by AKP İstanbıl Provincial Executive Board Member Aydoğan Ahıakın. Launching an investigation, the İstanbul Anadolu Prosecutor’s Office had given a decision of non-prosecution on the grounds that there was not enough suspicion suggesting that the Turkish flag was intentionally insulted in the picture published along with the article. Reviewing the file, the İstanbul Anadolu Criminal Judgeship of Peace removed the decision of non-prosecution as “there was strong suspicion that the offense charged was committed” and ruled that a lawsuit should be filed against Çelebi (August 16).