Nov 13 2017

Turkish judge expels journalist brothers’ entire defence team

A Turkish judge expelled four defence lawyers from a hearing on Monday in the trial of 17 media figures charged with participating in last year’s failed coup attempt, Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The entire defence team of brothers Ahmet Altan, the former editor-in-chief of Taraf, and Mehmet Altan, a journalist and economist at Istanbul University, were expelled in turn after asking to speak. The judge said each had spoken without permission:

First, Ergin Cinmen asked to speak on behalf of his clients and the judge responded by expelling him and adjourning for a break.

Later, another lawyer for the Altans, Figen Çalıkuşu, asked to be able to speak. The judge expelled her as well, ruling that the hearing would continue without either lawyer.

After another break, Ferat Çağıl asked to be able to speak; he was thrown out of court and there was a further brief adjournment.

Finally, the fourth lawyer working for the Altans, Melike Polat, objected to the judge’s conduct. She was also expelled from the court, which is due to reconvene later in the day.