First hearing in Özgür Gündem case begins
The first hearing in the Özgür Gündem case began and many people including international representatives are following the case.
The hearing in the case of Zana Kaya, the Editor-in-Chief of Özgür Gündem newspaper shut down with an emergency decree, Editor İnan Kızılkaya, and Advisory Board members Aslı Erdoğan and Necmiye Alpay began. A press briefing was held in front of the Istanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court in Çağlayan, where 9 people, 4 of whom are arrested, are accused of "membership to a terrorist organisation", "propagating for an a terrorist organisation", and "disrupting the unity of the state."
CHP parliamentarians Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Barış Yarkadaş, Turkey Journalists Union (TGS) President Gökhan Durmuş, Aslı Erdoğan’s mother Mine Aydoslu, Women’s Initiative for Peace (BİGK) members, journalists and authors participated in the press briefing despite harsh weather conditions.
YARKADAŞ: ARRESTS NOT LEGITIMATE
CHP parliamentarian Barış Yarkadaş said that arrests take place everyday and Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay, Zana Kaya and İnan Kızılkaya, who will appear in court for the first time 132 days after their arrests, for their writing and journalistic work. Yarkadaş said “We do not accept or view as legitimate the prosecution of journalists for their ideas,” and recalled that 650 journalists are threatened with detention because of the content they have shared on social media.
DURMUŞ: OUR PEOPLE SHOULD STAND UP
Turkey Journalists Union (TGS) President Gökhan Durmuş stated that they would set the journalists free with their solidarity, and called upon people to stand up for their right to news.
TANRIKULU: WE HAVE NOT GONE THROUGH A WORSE PERIOD
CHP parliamentarian Sezgin Tanrıkulu said that their solidarity in harsh conditions shows that they will be together in freedom in the future. Tanrıkulu said “I have been in courts for 30 years and we have not gone through a period worse than this. Arrests have become routine, I hope that 2017 will bring peace, freedom and justice."
Academics, journalists, lawyers, and Amnesty International representatives from Germany, Switzerland and France will also be participating in the hearing.