Indictment against writer Ahmet Altan examined

Şerife Ceren Uysal has examined the 247-page indictment against Ahmet Altan.

For PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project, Şerife Ceren Uysal has examined the indictment against Ahmet Altan & others. Focussing on the case against Ahmet Altan.

Uysal writes:

«In the case under investigation, it is observed that Ahmet Altan has been subjected to a process that has resulted in his conviction for a crime impossible to commit through the acts described in the indictment, with regard to the principle of legality.»

«In other words, the prosecutor carried out an investigation process that had to be carried out in line with a manner that would conversely lead to a successive and continuous violation of all fundamental rights and freedoms.»

Read the full report in English or Turkish here:

Point Zero of a Trial: The Indictment

The matter of indictments, described and analyzed by Dr. Kasim Akbaş.

Dr. Kasim Akbaş summarizes PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project and its findings in this article. Dr. Akbaş also goes through goals of indictments and what role they make in the judiciary process.

Based on the results of the PEN Norway indictment project, we have to reach the conclusion from this study, which defines indictment as the point zero of the proceeding, that the proceedings in Turkey “end before starting.”

Read the full article in English or Turkish here:

Indictment against Kavala & Barkey: 'The Espionage Case'

«Given the lack of coherent evidence, it is hard to resist the conclusion that the indictment is a piece of political theatre rather than a legal instrument and one designed to perpetuate the detention of Osman Kavala.»

On Friday 18th of December, Osman Kavala appeared on video to the court in Istanbul. The court decided to keep Kavala imprisoned. Read our full report from the hearing.

For PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project, Kevin Dent QC has examined the indictment against Osman Kavala and Henry Jak Barkey. A case also known as ‘The Espionage Case’.

Read the report on the indictment in English and Turkish.

This report is a part of PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project. Read the other reports from the project here.

Turkey v. Fincancı, Nesin and Önderoğlu

Judge Heidi Heggdal has examined indictments against Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin.

For PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project, Judge Heidi Heggdal has had a thorough look at indictments against journalists Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin.

Read the reports in English and Turkish here:

See the other reports in the projects here.

Turkey indictment project: A thorough look at 12 recent indictments

12 recent Turkish indictments against human rights activists, journalists and cultural workers are being examined in a new project.

Reports and articles published so far: 

Türkçe versiyonu aşağıdadır

Do the indictments in the Gezi Park trial, Cumhuriyet trial or against Ahmet Altan meet international legal standards?

Working with lawyers and judges from all over Europe, PEN Norway has commissioned a series of reports into indictments that have taken place during the past 5 years in cases against the media, human rights activists and civil society in Turkey.

– Following our trial observations of the past few years, we were deeply concerned at the standard of indictment-writing in a large number of cases, specifically such trials as that of Gezi Park – Osman Kavala et al – and the Cumhuriyet newspaper trial. The length of these indictments, at 657 and 256 pages respectively, led us to have concerns that defendantscases were being held up for a considerable time whilst these indictments were being written. In Osman Kavala’s case as long as 14 months, says PEN Norway’s Turkey Adviser and project lead Caroline Stockford.

12 indictment cases

PEN Norway has since Spring 2020 brought together legal experts from five different countries, including Norway, Austria and the United Kingdom, as well as academics and experts on the ground in Turkey to study indictments in 12 cases. PEN Norway has further commissioned articles on the history of and current state of the judicial system in Turkey as well as the mapping of the legal appeals process.

The study asks whether these indictments meet Turkish and international standards. We have brought on a team of excellent international lawyers and scholars with great knowledge of the law and Turkish society to examine 12 recent indictments, says Caroline Stockford.

Unique opportunity

The project will culminate in a final report which will put forward recommendations for streamlining and improving the standard of indictments in Turkey.

– This project is a unique opportunity to thoroughly look at the Turkish legal practice today. Legal organizations in and outside of Turkey have been increasingly worried about the judicial system for years. The crackdown on free speech in Turkey in the past few years has been a great cause for concern, General Secretary of PEN Norway, Hege Newth says.

– We are eager to hear the findings from our experts on whether these indictments meet a satisfying standard, and hope the recommendations from the project will be listened to, says Newth.

The reports will be published weekly from mid-September until the end of the year, beginning with a report on the case of journalist Nedim Türfent, now serving a prison sentence of 8 years, 9 months over one newspaper article. Forthcoming reports are on the indictments of Osman Kavala and Defendants in the Gezi Park trial, Deniz Yücel, the Cumhuriyet case, Pelin Ünker, Çiğdem Toker and the Büyükada indictment.

Global launch event

On September 30, 2020 PEN Norway will hold the global launch of our Turkey Indictment Project 2020. At this event, we have invited two panels of distinguished experts from Europe and Turkey to discuss the current crisis in the rule of law and avenues for practical and effective advocacy to mitigate the further erosion of the rule of law and profession of defense lawyers in Turkey.

For more information on our global launch event, which will feature two panels of experts discussing the current state of Turkey’s judicial system and the role and future of advocacy in Turkey and Europe, please contact: caroline@norskpen.no.

Register here for our global launch by emailing your name and company name to caroline@norskpen.no. Invitees will be capped at 100 participants.

The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Norveç PEN Türkiye İddianame Projesi başlıyor

30 Eylül’de gerçekleşecek Uluslararası açılış panelimize buradan kayıt olabilirsiniz.

Gezi Parkı davası, Cumhuriyet davası veya Ahmet Altan hakkındaki davada iddianameler uluslararası standartlara uyuyor mu?

Norveç PEN, Avrupa’dan avukatlar ve yargıçların bulunduğu bir ekiple çalışarak, son beş yılda Türkiye’de basın, insan hakları aktivistleri ve sivil toplum davalarındaki iddianameleri inceleyen bir rapor dizisi başlattı.

– Norveç PEN Türkiye danışmanı ve proje lideri olan Caroline Stockford’un belirttiği gibi: Geçtiğimiz yıllardaki dava gözlem deneyimlerimiz, birçok davadaki iddianame yazımıyla standartlarıyla ilgili derin bir endişeye yol açtı. Özellikle Gezi Parkı (Osman Kavala ve diğerleri) ve Cumhuriyet Gazetesi davalarında iddianame uzunluklarının sırasıyla 657 ve 256 olması, iddianamelerin hazırlanış süresinde tutuklu kalanlarla ilgili kaygılarımızı arttırıyor. Osman kavala örneğinde bu süre 14 aya kadar uzadı.

Norveç PEN, 2020 ilkbaharından bu yana Norveç, Birleşik Krallık, Avusturya gibi farklı ülkelerden hukuk uzmanlarının yanı sıra, Türkiye’den akademisyenler ve uzmanların bulunduğu bir ekibi bir araya getirdi. Bu ekiple 12 davanın iddianamelerinin incelemesiyle birlikte, Türkiye’deki yargı teşkilatı ve tarihiyle ilgili makaleler de hazırlıyoruz.

Bu proje kapsamında, son aşamada genel bir rapor hazırlanarak Türkiye’de iddianame standartlarıyla ilgili geliştirme önerileri getirilecek.

Norveç PEN genel sekreteri, Hege Newth’ın sözleriyle:  bu proje Türkiye’deki hukuk uygulamalarının detaylarına odaklanmak için eşsiz bir olanak sağlıyor. Türkiye içinde ve dışında bulunan hukuk kurumlarının yıllardır değişen yargı sistemiyle ilgili endişesi giderek artıyor. Türkiye’de son yıllarda ifade özgürlüğüne yönelik baskı, önemli bir endişe kaynağı. Ekibimizdeki uzmanların bu iddianamelerin standartlara uyumuyla ilgili bulgularını paylaşmak için sabırsızlanıyoruz ve sonunda getirilecek iyileştirme önerilerine kulak verileceğini umuyoruz.

Raporlar Eylül ayından başlayarak 2020 yılının sonuna kadar haftalık olarak yayınlanacak. İlk rapor, yazdığı bir makale yüzünden 8 yıl 9 aylık mahkumiyeti sürmekte olan gazeteci Nedim Türfent’in davası hakkında. İlerleyen raporlarda Gezi Parkı davası, Cumhuriyet, Pelin Ünker, Çiğdem Toker, Büyükada gibi davaların iddianameleri ele alınacak.

30 Eylül 2020’de, Norveç PEN, Türkiye İddianame Projesini tanıtmak amacıyla uluslararsı bir etkinlik düzenliyor. Bu etkinlik Avrupa ve Türkiye’den önde gelen uzmanların, hukukun üstünlüğüyle ilgili konuları tartıştığı 2 panel şeklinde gerçekleşecek. Hukukun üstünlüğü ile ilgili olumsuzlukların daha da derinleşmesinin önüne geçmek için pratik yollar geliştirilmeye çalışacak.

Etkinlikle ilgili daha fazla bilgi için bizimle şu e-mail adresinden irtibata geçebilirsiniz: caroline@norskpen.no

Etkinliğe kaydolmak için.

Bu proje, Norveç Dışişleri Bakanlığı, İstanbul İsveç Konsolosluğu ve Heinrich Böll Vakfı tarafından desteklenmektedir.

Turkey Indictment Project: Cumhuriyet trial

Aska Fujita of BHRC has examined the indictment against the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet.

The indictment under examination, indictment no. 2017/1480, charges 19 defendants connected to the Cumhuriyet newspaper in various roles, including the chief editor, journalists, members of the Cumhuriyet Foundation Board of Directors / Executive Board members and accountants, with terrorism offences,

The indictment outlines that each of these defendants have expressed political views in disagreement with or criticising the State. However, it fails to properly set out why this constitutes a crime as opposed to a lawful exercise of the defendants’ right to freedom of expression, writes Aska Fujita of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Read the evaluation of the indictment in English and Turkish here:

See all indictments and articles from the Turkey Indictment Project here.

Turkey Indictment Project: Büyükada trial

Clarissa Fondi and Hannah Beck have done an examination of the indictment in the Büyükada trial.

The Büyükada trial was set against 11 human rights activists. All defendants, including the two foreign workshop trainers, have been charged with crimes related to being suspected of affiliations with terrorist organisations.

Clarissa Fondi and Hannah Beck from the Vienna-based Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights have examined the indictment.

Read the report in English og Turkish:

See all indictments and articles from the Turkey Indictment Project here.

'Need to know' on the Turkish Justice System

Curious about the specifics of how the Turkish Justice system works? Have a look at these infographics.

For PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project, we present three information sheets on different parts of the Turkish justice system.

On the Council of Judges and Prosecutors:

On the Criminal Justice in Turkish Judiciary System

On the Turkish Bar Associations

Read all the reports and articles from the project here.

Examination of the MIT News Trial

Şerife Ceren Uysal takes a thorough look at the MIT News Case for PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project.

Read the report in English or Turkish here:

This report is a part of PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project. You can see more reports and read about the project here.

The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish Consulate in Istanbul and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Is this your world of justice?

«This period is one of the darkest periods in the history of freedom of expression in Turkey and we are actually still living through it», writes Berna Akkızal.

For PEN Norway’s Turkey Indictment Project, Berna Akkızal has written an article describing the situation for freedom of expression in the Turkish legal system. 

Read the article in English and Turkish here:

Read all of the published reports from the Turkey Indictment Project here.