March 7, 2018
The trial of Turkish journalist Hidayet Karaca (55) has already taken its place in judicial history because not only has he been persecuted by the Turkish government led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but also both his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him from jail have been imprisoned.
Hidayet Karaca, Ph.D., is an experienced Turkish broadcaster who also served as chairman of the board of directors of number of media associations such as Television Broadcasters Association and Television Audience Measurement (TİAK) in Turkey for years. After working as the bureau chief of the Zaman daily in İzmir and Ankara provinces, he was transferred to the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group in 1999 and served as Executive Director of the group for 17 years.
However, he was taken under custody by the police officers, who raided the television where he was in charge on December 14, 2014. He has been deprived of his freedom for about 4 years. Karaca was sentenced to 31 years of imprisonment in a trial. He has also been tried for another another case with almost the same accusations. This time aggravated life sentence has been demanded for him.
“I am defending myself under very difficult circumstances. Some of my lawyers have left, some of them were arrested. I could not even find a lawyer to write a petition for me,” said Hidayet Karaca during a hearing at a Turkish court where he was tried in August 2016.