On January 8, 2016, Ayşe Çelik, a teacher who lives in Diyarbakır, joined in Beyaz Show by phone and asking for attention to the current situation in Southeastern Turkey, has said:
Are you aware of what’s going on in the Southeast of Turkey?
Unborn children, mothers, people are getting killed here…
… What’s experienced here is narrated differently on screen and in media.
Don’t remain silent…See us, hear us and lend a hand.
It’s a pity, people shall not die, children shall not die, mothers shall not cry.
Ayşe Çelik’s words were considered to be terrorist propaganda, for “she did not criticize PKK”. Both her words and the program host Beyazıt Öztürk’s supportive attitude resulted in a lynch on social media. In response to these reactions, Beyazıt Öztürk and channel executives published a declaration and an official apology.
Advocates of peace who decided to support Ayşe Çelik appealed to the prosecutors on January 13, in three major cities and they denounced themselves simultaneously, repeating Ayşe Çelik’s words and partaking in her crime (?!).
In İzmir, the prosecutor said “I will not accept this petition” and committed a constitutional offense. (Article 74, Right to Petition) When the Izmirians posted their petition by registered mail, the prosecutor sent the petitions to Bakırköy Office of Prosecutor.
In Ankara the prosecutor decided on non-prosecution. The objection was dismissed. (As of May 30)
A lawsuit was filed against the participants at Istanbul Bakırköy 2. Assize Court.
Although at first the indicment on Ayşe Çelik and the channel executive was submitted one day after that of the supporters, later on the court merged the two indictments and the number of the defendants rose to 39.
At the second hearing of the trial which was postponed to November 30 for witness testimony of Beyazıt Öztürk, the attorneys of the defendants objected to court listening to Öztürk in the absence of the defendant attorneys. Judge dismissed the objection and adjourned the hearing. On the third hearing, the prosecutor presented his consideration remarks, demanding the acquittal of the show’s executive producer and the civil disobedients on the account that they had no “intention to commit a crime”, while asking for Ayşe Çelik to be sentenced on the premises of “terrorist organization propaganda”, from Article 7/2 of Turkish Penal Code.
On the last hearing the verdict was given. 38 civil disobedients who have repeated the crime (!?) and emphasized that it was the demand for peace that was on trial got acquitted, yet Ayşe Çelik was sentenced to 1 year 3 months in prison, the sentence was neither suspended nor converted to judicial fine. Civil disobedients are planning to object the verdict as the verdict will be approved next week.
Trial Information and Current Situation
Accusation: Terror Organization Propaganda (Imprisonment up to 7.5 years)
First Hearing: September 23, 2016 Friday, 09:50
Last Hearing: April 26, 2017, 14:00 Bakırköy Courthouse, 2.Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi /Assize Court
AYŞE ERZAN SİLİER
AYŞEGÜL AKIŞ DEVECİOĞLU
BAYRAM BAHRİ BELEN
KADİR TURNALI (Kanal D)
NİL ÖZSOY DİNDAR
SİBEL ÖZBUDUN DEMİRER