As part of the case against shut-down Özgür Gündem newspaper’s executives and writers, novelist Aslı Erdoğan, linguist Necmiye Alpay and editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem Zana Bilir Kaya are released in the hearing held today.
9 people, including Aslı Erdoğan and Necmiye Alpay, started to stand trial today as part of the case against shut-down Özgür Gündem newspaper’s executives and writers.
Novelist Aslı Erdoğan, linguist Necmiye Alpay, editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem Zana (Bilir) Kaya, managing editor İnan Kızılkaya, lawyer Eren Keskin, Filiz Koçali, Ragıp Zarakolu, Kemal Sancılı and Bilge Aykut are the suspects of the case.
Aslı Erdoğan’s mother Mine Erdoğan, CHP MPs Barış Yarkadaş, Sezgin Tanrıklı and Selina Doğan and representatives of consulates of Germany, England, France and Switzerland attended the hearing.
“I will pretend that legal system is functioning”
Novelist Aslı Erdoğan started her defence saying, “I will pretend that legal system is functioning.”
Saying that the indictment violates fundamental legal principals, Erdoğan said, “The saddest part is to accuse a writer who wrote 8 books and hundreds of articles in 26 years with purposely selected articles. I am a writer and narrating is my existence.”
“Arrest is turned into execution”
After Erdoğan, linguist and writer Necmiye Alpay presented her defence: “Until now, I have never had an investigation against me because of my articles. I am under arrest for 4 months. This is like extrajudicial execution. Arrest is turned into execution. I demand my release and acquittal.”
Lawyer Eren Keskin said: “I am a human rights advocate. I worked as an editor-in-chief in the newspaper for 3 years. However, it was just on paper, since as a lawyer I was too busy to do this job. 140 different cases have been filed against me, just because my name is written there. The people who defend freedom of expression and have never defended violence once are charged with being a member of a terrorist organization.”
The prosecutor demanded the release of Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay and Zana Kaya. The court approved prosecutor’s demand and Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay and Zana Kaya are released.