Facing ‘terror’ charges over article, Turkish journalist Hacı Boğatekin acquitted after 16 years

Turkish journalist Hacı Boğatekin acquitted after 16 years.

After a lengthy legal battle spanning 16 years, Turkish journalist Hacı Boğatekin has been acquitted by the Adıyaman 1st High Criminal Court, following an order by the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals.

Boğatekin’s ordeal began with the publication of his article titled “FETÖ and Apo” in the Gerger Fırat newspaper on January 4, 2008, which led to legal challenges and his subsequent detention and arrest.

The Supreme Court’s decision marked a turning point in Boğatekin’s case, ultimately resulting in his acquittal during the first hearing at the Adıyaman 1st High Criminal Court. The court cited insufficient evidence to support the charges of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation” against Boğatekin.

In response to the court’s decision, Boğatekin expressed relief, stating, “My case has lasted over 16 years, causing material and moral damage. I request compensation, especially from the prosecutor who initiated this case.” He also accepted the verdict of acquittal, acknowledging the legal process and potential outcomes.

Hüseyin Boğatekin, Hacı Boğatekin’s lawyer, highlighted the significance of the case for press freedom and freedom of expression. He emphasized that despite the lengthy legal battle, justice was eventually served through the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court’s decisions.

The legal journey faced by Boğatekin included multiple court rulings and appeals, with the Constitutional Court previously deeming the prison sentence unconstitutional, emphasising the importance of freedom of expression and press in a democracy.

Boğatekin’s case serves as a milestone in the ongoing discourse on press freedom in Turkey, emphasising the vital role of journalists in addressing societal issues and contributing to public debate.

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