On 10 February I wrote in my last blog that: “Next Tuesday I am travelling to Istanbul to see the curtain come down on one of the most farcical trials I have witnessed in my years as an observer at trials of journalists in Turkey.” Owing to an unscheduled trip to hospital in London and subsequent operation, I never made it to Turkey and the judicial farce continued when the newly appointed judge refused to dismiss the case as called for by the Istanbul prosecutor.
Judging by reports I received, before the case opened over 250 journalists, friends and activists gathered outside the court in Istanbul on 15 February, but were not allowed to enter the courtroom because it was “too small”. I was told that: “After heated debates with the guards, three people were permitted to enter the courtroom to hear the legal submissions. Meanwhile outside supporters chanted: “Ahmet will get out [of jail] and will resume writing” referring to the arrested journalist Ahmet Sik one of the Odatv journalists on trial. The group gathered later in front of the courthouse with a big banner saying: “The plot is ongoing. We haven’t remained silent and we won’t.”
After 6 years of court hearings and the prosecutor now seeking the release of all the suspects, the judge decided to resume hearing the case on 12 April. Whether he will bring the curtain down on this Alice in Wonderland trial remains to be seen!