Cumhuriyet Trial Begins

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First hearing of Cumhuriyet trial in which 19 Cumhuriyet newspaper employees 11 of whom are arrested started today (July 24).

Arrested defendants of the trial were taken to the courtroom.

There are Mariette Cauchi from the International Senior Lawyers Project, Isaebelle Rossaert from PEN Belgium, Regula Venske from PEN Germany, Maria Emilia Arioli from PEN Switzerland, Steven Ellis, Henri Koponen, Barbara Trionfi and Marty Steffens from the International Press Institute, Jorgen Lorentzen fron PEN Norway, Nora Wehofsits from the ECPMF, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård from the European Federation of Journalists, Johann Bihr and Erol Önderoğlu from the Reporters Without Borders and EU MPs Arne Lietz and Rebecca Harms among the attendees.

Arrested Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, columnist Kadri Gürsel, caricaturist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Attorney Bülent Utku, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board member Attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günayi columnist Güray Öz, attorney Akın Atalay and Cumnhuriyet correspondent Ahmet Şık entered the courtroom with acclaims.

What happened?

Cumhuriyet Daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, columnists Hakan Kara, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Aydın Engin, Kadri Gürsel, Güray Öz, cartoonist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board members Attorney Bülent Utku, Attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Önder Çelik, Bülent Yener, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günay and Accounting Manager Günseli Özaltay were taken into custody on 31 October 2016. ok, will do that.

Engin and Çetinkaya were released on November 4, 2016. Özaltay and Yener were also released after being questioned by the prosecution.

Murat Sabuncu, Hakan Kara, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Güray Öz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Önder Çelik, Turhan Günay and Kadri Gürsel, however, were formally arrested on November 5, 2016.

A detention order was issued for Cumhuriyet Foundation Chief Executive Officer Attorney Akın Atalay and journalist Can Dündar who were abroad at the time their colleagues were detained.

Atalay was taken into custody at the airport while returning to Turkey on November 11, 2016 and was arrested on November 13, 2016.
Cumhuriyet daily journalist Ahmet Şık was also taken into custody on December 29, 2016. Officials cited his postings and reports on the social media as the reason for his detention, and he was taken to court for arrest on the same day.

On December 30, 2016, the İstanbul Criminal Judgeship of Peace arrested Şık, charging him with "propagandizing for FETÖ and PKK". (EA/BK/TK)

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