The basis of the indictment, as prepared by Bakırköy Public Prosecutor Ertuğrul Sarıyar, is seven opinion pieces published on Radikal news website. Erdoğan’s lawyer Ahmet Özel reportedly filed a lawsuit regarding these pieces, published between July 26 and August 19, for violating Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).
The law foresees up to four years prison detention in the case that Çandar is found guilty by the court. The trial is set to begin on April 7.
Earlier this week Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that Cumhuriyet’s editors Can Dündar and Erdem Gül’s rights had been violated by their arrest and were subsequently released after 92 days of imprisonment.
Çandar kept his spirit high and speaking to news website T24, said that he received the written notice on the same day as President Erdoğan’s birthday and Can Dündar and Erdem Gül’s release from prison.
Hundreds of public figures, journalists and individuals have faced legal proceedings and imprisonment over ‘insulting the president’ in recent years, sparking growing concerns over freedom of speech in Turkey.