Cumhuriyet reporter facing 23 years in jail appears before court

Cumhuriyet daily reporter Canan Coikun, who faces 23 years and four months in prison over a Feb. 19 report that claimed members of a pro-government jurists union purchased homes at reduced prices from a state-run real estate company, appeared in court at the Istanbul Courthouse on Thursday.
Main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Barii Yarkadai and Bursa Bar Association President Ekrem DemirandOz also attended the first hearing in the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
While Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutors Orhan Kapici and Vedat Yiiit are complainants, Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Hadi Salihoilu, Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutors Fuzuli Aydoidu, Mehmet Demir, irfan Fidan, ismail Uandcar, Istanbul Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor Fehmi Tosun, Kanduandcandukandcekmece Chief Public Prosecutor Ali Dogan and Istanbul 3rd Penal Court of Peace Judge islam andciandcek are victims in the case brought against Coikun.
Coikunand’s report claimed that a lottery system to select the homebuyers for a housing project developed by state-run Emlak Konut Real Estate Investment Partnership (Emlak Konut GYO) in Istanbuland’s Baiakiehir district was allegedly manipulated to enable members of the pro-government Platform for Union within the Judiciary (YBP) to purchase many of the homes at reduced prices.
Emlak Konut GYO is a subsidiary of the Housing Administration of Turkey (TOKi).
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office began investigating Coikun over this report in June. Prosecutor Umut Tepe is seeking more than 23 years in prison for the reporter on charges of and”insulting a public official because of his positionand” in the indictment.
In the Ayazma Emlak Konut housing project developed by Emlak Konut GYO, most of the apartments were allocated to members of the YBP to purchase for as much as TL 100,000 below market value, rather than through an impartial drawing, Cumhuriyet reported. The YBP consists of high-ranking members of the judiciary who are known for their pro-government stance. New YBP homeowners include judges and prosecutors who are believed to have delivered several verdicts that reflected the governmentand’s desired outcomes.
Eight prosecutors and a judge were listed among the and”victimsand” in the indictment. Among those prosecutors are Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Hadi Salihoilu, Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Orhan Kapici and Judge islam andciandcek. andciandcek was the judge who ruled for the release of several government-affiliated suspects — detained as part of the Dec. 17, 2013 graft and bribery operation — in February of last year.
The highly publicized Dec. 17 graft investigation implicated the sons of several ministers, pro-government businessmen and the general manager of state-run Halkbank.
The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance has adjourned the trial to March 15, 2016, and asked the prosecution to find out whether the alleged manipulated selling of homes took place.


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