December 5, 2023

05.12.2023 – SEEMO Condemns Legal Proceedings Against Journalist Ayça Söylemez in Türkiye / Turkey

Journalist Ayça Söylemez faced the 29th High Criminal Court in Istanbul, Türkiye / Turkey on 22 November 2023, for the initial hearing of her trial, charged with ‘marking a public official assigned with the fight against terrorism as a target’ under Article 6/1 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK). The charges arose from Söylemez’s article, ‘Yetenekli Hakim Bey’ (The talented judge) (, published in BirGün ( newspaper on 18 February 2020.

The prosecutor, during the hearing, advocated for Söylemez’s guilt, prompting the court to postpone the trial until 19 March 2024.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expresses deep concern over the prosecution of Ayça Söylemez, emphasizing the importance of freedom of expression. SEEMO stands in solidarity with Ayça Söylemez, denouncing any attempts to stifle journalistic freedom. SEEMO urges respect for freedom of expression and calls for a thorough and unbiased examination of the case, emphasizing the crucial role journalists play in Turkey.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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